September 29, 2010

Jewish boat for Gaza stopped by Israel

It looks like Israel got the first word in about how they stopped the Jewish boat for Gaza from reaching there. The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli soldiers has boarded the boat peacefully but now the article has been changed to take a witness account from an Israeli who was on board the boat. Here's the sub-title of the article:
Commando 13 warship peacefully diverts yacht from Gaza after illegally enters waters; IDF spokesperson calls boat "provocation."
And here's the newly inserted first paragraph:
An Israeli passenger who was on board the Irene, a boat carrying Jewish activists and aid to Gaza that was intercepted by the IDF on Tuesday, says there was violence on board despite the IDF Spokesperson asserting otherwise.

"There are no words to describe what we went through on that boat, " said Yonatan Shapira, a passenger and former Israeli Air Force pilot.
Ha'aretz too is reporting witness accounts of violence by Israeli forces:
Earlier Tuesday the IDF reported that Israeli naval commandos peacefully boarded the Jewish aid boat attempting to break a naval blockade on Gaza, saying "IDF naval forces recently boarded the yacht 'Irene', and it is currently being led to the Ashdod seaport along with its passengers."

However, testimonies by passengers who were released from police questioning later in the day seemed to counter the IDF's claims, with Israeli activist and former Israel Air Force pilot Yonatan Shapira saying that there were "no words to describe what we went through during the takeover."
I can't now find any trace of the original Jerusalem Post article but it looks Israel is having increasing difficulty getting its word to be believed, even in the Jerusalem Post. But a later article in the Jeruslam Post, whilst carrying some of the witness statements, still reads: Navy peacefully diverts Gaza-bound Jewish activists. So the hasbara machine is still being briefed on this, it seems.

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