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Posted by on Jun 3, 2010 in Breaking News, International, Law, Media, Places, Politics, Religion, Society, War | 0 comments

Al Jazeera Reporter Says Israelis Were Shooting From Helicopter Before Commandos Boarded

This article and accompanying video at Al Jazeera’s English language edition is a must-read and a must-see.

The Al-Jazeera reporter who was on the ship when the Israelis boarded it is interviewed — I guess by an in-studio anchor — and his eyewitness account is quite different from what the U.S. media is reporting. For one thing, he says that at least one of the activists on board the ship was shot through the head from the Israeli helicopter above — which obviously contradicts the Israeli narrative that the naval commandos did not use lethal force until they were attacked. Also, he confirms the reports of passengers using iron bars to club the Israeli commandos, and adds the detail, which I have not seen elsewhere, that these iron bars came from the ship’s railing — passengers were taking the railing apart to use as weapons. In case the implication of this is unclear, this would indicate that the activists on board the ship were using whatever came to hand to attack the Israeli commandos, which in turn kind of suggests that they did not plan in advance to BE attacking the commandos, which next in turn suggests that the iron bars were being used at least to some extent in self-defense.

The reporter also is asked about, and describes, the way he was treated after being arrested by the Israelis. He was held for about 24 hours with his hands tied behind his back, was told to urinate in his pants when he told his captors he had to use the bathroom, and was fed only once in that period — bread that was “literally frozen,” and some potatoes. He said it was not the kind of treatment you would expect from a democracy.

The video runs for 10 minutes and the (unseen) anchor’s questions asked of the reporter were far more objective, fair, and comprehensive than anything I’ve seen in the U.S. media.