Based on the initial news after the attack, the number killed is 16 and at least 60 are wounded. All the victims are international activists who helped organize this campaign to end Israel’s three year siege on Gaza.
This attack against the Freedom Flotilla is an astounding crime in meaning and dimension. It is an attack against unarmed civilian ships. This is a crime and an act of piracy in international waters. It is a clear breach of international laws and agreements. Despite Israel’s redeployment from Gaza in 2005, it has continued to impose a comprehensive siege against the 1.5 million people living in Gaza.
The Israeli government would not have the courage to commit such a crime if the international community were brave enough to face Israel’s continuous violations of international law, if it had the power and will to force Israel to end its siege and to stop its aggressive actions against the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian people, and if the same international community had the power to take action and enforce the necessary procedures to push Israel to end its
occupation and to implement international resolutions. But this very clear crime against the Freedom Flotilla, which led to international deaths and dozens of injured, comes under the cover and support of the Netanyahu government by the American administration and the EU, and silence from the Arab regimes.
Meanwhile, Israel continues its settlement policy in Jerusalem and its aggression against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. It is the governments of the international community and their political cover which allow Israel to continue its action and aggression as a state above and beyond the law.
The Alternative Information Center (AIC) places complete responsibility with the Israeli government and we request that the international, legal, political and humanitarian bodies move immediately to condemn this crime and to hold Israel accountable for its harsh actions. We also request the immediate lifting of the siege on Gaza so supplies can enter without any conditions.
In this context the AIC also calls for civil society organizations in Israel to move immediately to express their refusal, disgust and condemnation for this crime.
Now is the moment for the international community to raise its voice against these aggressive policies, it is the moment to take immediate political and legal action to hold Israel to account for its crimes, it is the moment to lift the siege against Gaza, it is the moment to force Israel to implement international resolutions, to end the occupation and to recognize the international rights of the Palestinian people. If this does not happen more blood will be shed.