- ‘Summary Executions & Unacceptable Brutality’: The Gaza Flotilla Massacre by Israel 8 Years on
On May 31, 2010, Israeli forces ambushed an aid flotilla heading to Gaza, killing 10 activists in a siege that drew international condemnation and sparked damning investigations, despite Israel’s efforts to control the narrative.
Six ships – three carrying international aid – were on their way to Gaza to break the blockade imposed by Israel in 2007 when Israeli forces raided the vessels in international waters, about 64 nautical miles from the blockade zone.
The flotilla was organized by the Free Gaza Movement umbrella organization and the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Aid (IHH). Nine Turkish people were killed during the ambush, while a 10th died in 2014, after spending four years in a coma as a result of his injuries.
A UN Human Rights Council report said at least six of the killings were “consistent with an extra-legal, arbitrary and summary execution.” At least 50 other people were injured and Israel arrested more than 600, including 60 journalists, politicians and other passengers.
‘No satisfactory explanation for deaths’
On May 30, the flotilla gathered off the coast of Cyprus to make its way to Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces and Navy told the ships to go to the Israeli port of Ashdod, which the flotilla ignored and Israel claimed the move was a “provocation.” At 4am, Israel signal-jammed communications, and half an hour later, launched its attack.