Written by Free Gaza team | 17 June 2010
That evidence will be vital to any search for the truth concerning the events on all six boats and must be secured urgently if Israeli military personnel are ever to be held to account for the deaths of at least nine civilians and the gunshot wounds of at least 40 others who were aboard the Mavi Marmara ship.
Israel’s 31 May 2010 attack on the civilians on the Freedom Flotilla had terrible consequences, resulting in the death of (at least) nine civilians and the wounding of over 40. It was unprovoked, unwarranted, and illegal.
As recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations (UN) and every government in the world, Israel remains the occupying power in Gaza. When Israeli military forces took control of the six ships in international waters on 31 May 2010, the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 then applied to the civilians on board.
The early testimonies of those participating in the flotilla and the video evidence that activists managed to prevent being seized by the Israeli military, provides prima facie evidence of the commission of grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention (i.e. war crimes) by Israeli military personnel involved in the attack on the flotilla and in the detention of its passengers. That evidence suggests that the following crimes were – and/or continue to be – committed:
Therefore, on behalf of the main organizers of the six-vessel Gaza flotilla carrying approximately 700 human rights activists, journalists, members of parliament and other civilians and crew, the Freedom Flotilla coalition calls on all governments to comply with their duties under article 1 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and take the following action due to Israel’s theft of the property of those participating in the flotilla. We call on all governments to join us in urgently demanding that Israel:
We also call on all governments to urgently demand from Israel that:
These crimes have focused international attention on the illegal blockade of Gaza, leading to a welcome international review of the policies of governments across the world towards the closure. There is no natural disaster in Gaza. Therefore, Gaza does not need long-term humanitarian aid, but instead needs to be allowed to rebuild its economy and trade normally with the rest of the world. It cannot do this while the closure and naval blockade continue.
Turkey, United Kingdom, Spain, Netherlands, Jordan, Ireland, USA, France, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Holland