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UN: Israel arbitrarily killed civilians on board the Mavi Marmara
A report of the fact-finding mission of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla, showed that Israeli forces employed lethal force in a widespread and arbitra
Palestine 04.06.2011

The UN report which was released on 22 September 2010 showed how illegitimate the Israeli attack on the flotilla was.

Since the UN report on the Mavi Marmara incident was prepared by the most authorized institution on human rights, it is of crucial importance for the international community. So, it is impossible to ignore this report in the developments taking place after the Mavi Marmara attack. All the passengers on the board the ship, who were interviewed by the Mission, are described as people with humanitarian concerns who sincerely and deeply care about the welfare of Gaza people.

From the point of international law and international human rights law, the report makes an assessment of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the attacks on the ships of the humanitarian aid flotilla and the developments taking place following the interception of the Mavi Marmara by Israeli soldiers. The Mission finds the main goal of the flotilla in setting sail for Gaza as legitimate from the point of international law. In this regard, the report states that the flotilla ships and passengers began the voyage after undergoing tight security measures and the intervention in the ship in international waters completely runs contrary to law.

The report explains in detail how the flotilla ships were seized by Israeli forces, the incidents taking place after the seizure of the ships and how the flotilla passengers were treated until they were sent back to their countries. It says that Israeli soldiers, both those on the ship’s deck and in helicopters fired plastic and live ammunition on the passengers as well as paint palls. The Mission notes that Israeli forces employed lethal force in a widespread and arbitrary manner which caused an unnecessarily large number of persons to be killed or seriously injured. The Mission also states that there was no evidence proving the existence of guns on the ship where passengers were engaged in a self-defense and civilian resistance. The Mission concluded that none of the ships and the passengers who were massacred posed any imminent threat to Israeli forces. Hence, it is better to describe those taking place on board the ship as a “massacre.”

The Mission also states that injured passengers who were captured by Israel were kicked from their heads, backs and chins and they were subjected to verbal attacks. It also notes that other passengers were subjected to inhuman treatment by Israeli soldiers.  

The Mission also confirms that the passengers were treated with a hostile and inhumane manner during the time the ships were docked at Israel’s Ashdod Port, the passengers were taken to jail, they were kept in jail and deported.

The Mission said perhaps the most shocking testimony provided to the Mission was the consistent accounts of a number of extreme and unprovoked violence perpetrated by uniformed Israeli personnel upon certain passengers during the procession procedures inside the terminal at Ben Gurion International Airport on the day of deportation.

There is clear evidence that call for the investigation of the following crimes which have been mentioned throughout the report: a) Willful killing, b) torture or inhumane treatment, c) willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.

The Mission is of the opinion that a series of violations of Israel’s obligations under international human rights law have taken place including right to life, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, right to liberty and security of the person and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention, right of detainees to be treated with humanity and respect for the inherent dignity of the human person, freedom of expression.

Among the violations of international law by Israel, Mission also cites Israel’s confiscation of the belongings of the passengers and serious damaging of the Mavi Marmara ship in particular.

Please click for the Turkish version of the report of Fact-Finding Mission of the UN Human Rights Council on Gaza flotilla attack. 

Please click for the English version of the report of Fact-Finding Mission of the UN Human Rights Council on Gaza flotilla attack.

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