FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON D.C., October 7, 2010: A comprehensive report examining the minute-by-minute versions of the same events during the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla attack by Israel was released by two charity groups today. Contrasting passenger testimonies against official Israeli accounts side-by-side to each other, a complete picture can be seen as to exactly what transpired in the days and hours leading up to the incident as well as its aftermath.
The attack took place in international waters in the early hours of May 31, 2010 as humanitarian aid workers carrying goods and supplies, including medical equipment, attempted to break the Israeli-imposed blockade on Gaza. The attack on the six ships in the flotilla led to the deaths of nine passengers on the Turkish-supported Mavi Marmara ship. The result has been an intense worldwide condemnation of Israeli policies towards the increase in aid missions.
The Timeline and Inconsistencies Report, co-sponsored by the International Bureau of Humanitarian NGOs (IBH) in Geneva and Paris, and the Friends of Charities Association (FOCA) in Washington D.C., takes each individual action as it happened, and aligns the passenger version against the Israeli account. The “conclusions are in sharp contrast to the Israeli official version of events,” the report found.
Released as an advance copy coincidentally on the same day as the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) issued its damning conclusions of Israeli actions, the timeline analysis lets the evidence speak for itself.
Tom Nelson, lawyer and spokesperson for FOCA, presented the Timeline Report to colleagues in Europe this week. “It got absolutely raving positive reviews here in Brussels,” he said, adding, “It is a powerful supplement to the UN Human Rights Commission report.”
IBH and FOCA conducted the research over a 4-month period based on information gathered from passenger testimonies, government authorities, world press coverage, official videos and film smuggled from the ship, as well as the United Nations report, Israeli self-inquiry, and Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) report.
Conclusions show that Israel clearly manipulated evidence to bolster its argument that the attack on the Mavi Marmara was in self-defense against armed violent activists. Using second-by-second analysis, the reports shows how the six passengers killed were victims of execution-style murders by the Israeli soldiers.
Examples of manufactured computer-generated images installed into the official Israeli video released are revealed as individual frames.
The report goes on to note that when passengers were detained and independently and consistently testified to being beaten, sexually harassed and abused, “no argument as to imminent threat could be justified” by the Israeli authorities.
The report can be viewed and downloaded at http://www.foca.net/media/documents/timeline-inconsistencies-gaza-flotilla-attack-31052010.pdf
ABOUT THE REPORT SPONSORS
International Bureau of Humanitarian NGOs (IBH) and Friends of Charities Association (FOCA)
IBH and FOCA are non-profit organizations that advocate the rights of Islamic charities throughout the world, promote ties with civil society groups, and support the reform of global security laws and policies that impact charities of all denominations.
Wendell Belew: Tel +1202 255 3808; Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Nelson: Tel +1 503 622 3262; Email email@example.com
Friends of Charities Association (FOCA) 1150 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: + 1 202 862 4348
Fax: +1 202 364 8868 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Bureau of Humanitarian NGOs (IBH)
Geneva and Paris
Tel & Fax: +33 1 4746 1988
Source: FOCA, IBH