More sad news about the flotilla attack today, via ABC News. Confirmation that a US citizen is among the dead:
A U.S. citizen who lived in Turkey is among the nine people killed when Israeli commandos stormed a Turkish aid ship heading for the Gaza Strip, officials said today. The victim was identified as Furkan Dogan, 19, a Turkish-American. A forensic report said he was shot at close range, with four bullets in his head and one in his chest, according to the Anatolian news agency.
May he rest in peace. I am so sad for his family and our countries. This just didn't have to happen this way.
In other news, Max Blumenthal reports that the IDF is walking back their initial claim of an Al Qaeda connection:
Today, the Israeli Army’s press office changed the headline of its press release (see below), basically retracting its claim about the flotilla’s Al Qaeda links. The new headline reads: “Attackers of the IDF Soldiers Found Without Identification Papers” (the top of the browser screen still contains the original headline about Al Qaeda). The more Israel’s claims about the flotilla’s terrorist links are challenged, the more they fall apart.
Voice of America has video of the expelled Turkish activists returning:
From their report:
Nine activists died during the operation. Their bodies also arrived in Turkey and autopsies of the dead said all died of gunshot wounds.
Israel says its troops only used their pistols after they were attacked, and released a video showing soldiers in riot gear descending from a helicopter into a crowd of men with sticks and clubs. Three or four activists overpowered each soldier as he landed, beating each one to the deck.
One of the main organizers of the relief effort was the Turkish charity the Foundation for Humanitarian Relief, which has Islamic roots. Israel accuses the charity of having links to terrorism, a charge it denies.