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Facts Needed to Know About the Israeli Attack on Peace Activists on the Gaza Flotilla By Jonathan Cook, artane free delivery AlterNet Posted on May 31, artane free delivery 2010, artane free delivery Printed on June 1, artane free delivery 2010 It is quite astounding that Israel has been able to create over the past 12 hours a news blackout, artane free delivery just as it did with its attack on Gaza 18 months ago, artane free delivery into which our main media organisations have willingly allowed Israeli spokespeople to step in unchallenged. How many civilians were killed in Israel’s dawn attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla of aid? We still don’t know. How many wounded? Your guess is as good as mine. Artane free delivery Were the aid activists armed with guns? Yes, artane free delivery says Israel. Artane free delivery Were they in cahoots with al-Qaeda and Hamas? Certainly, artane free delivery says Israel. Artane free delivery Did the soldiers act reasonably? Of course, artane free delivery they faced a lynch, artane free delivery says Israel. If we needed any evidence of the degree to which Western TV journalists are simply stenographers to power, artane free delivery the BBC, artane free delivery CNN and others are amply proving it. Artane free delivery Mark Regev, artane free delivery Israel’s propagandist-in-chief, artane free delivery has the airwaves largely to himself. The passengers on the ships, artane free delivery meanwhile, artane free delivery have been kidnapped by Israel and are unable to provide an alternative version of events. Artane free delivery We can guess they will remain in enforced silence until Israel is sure it has set the news agenda. So before we get swamped by Israeli hasbara let’s reiterate a few simple facts: * Israeli soldiers invaded these ships in international waters, artane free delivery breaking international law, artane free delivery and, artane free delivery in killing civilians, artane free delivery committed a war crime. Artane free delivery The counter-claim by Israeli commanders that their soldiers responded to an imminent “lynch” by civilians should be dismissed with the loud contempt it deserves. * The Israeli government approved the boarding of these aid ships by an elite unit of commandoes. Artane free delivery They were armed with automatic weapons to pacify the civilians onboard, artane free delivery but not with crowd dispersal equipment in case of resistance. Artane free delivery Whatever the circumstances of the confrontation, artane free delivery Israel must be held responsible for sending in soldiers and recklessly endangering the lives of all the civilians onboard, artane free delivery including a baby. Israel has no right to control Gaza’s sea as its own territorial waters and to stop aid convoys arriving that way. Artane free delivery In doing so, artane free delivery it proves that it is still in belligerent occupation of the enclave and its 1.5 million inhabitants. Artane free delivery And if it is occupying Gaza, artane free delivery then under international law Israel is responsible for the welfare of the Strip’s inhabitants. Artane free delivery Given that the blockade has put Palestinians there on a starvation diet for the past four years, artane free delivery Israel should long ago have been in the dock for committing a crime against humanity. Israel chose to direct its deadly assault not only at Palestinians under occupation but at the international community itself. Will our leaders finally be moved to act?