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Facts Needed to Know About the Israeli Attack on Peace Activists on the Gaza Flotilla By Jonathan Cook, no rx mevacor AlterNet Posted on May 31, no rx mevacor 2010, no rx mevacor Printed on June 1, no rx mevacor 2010 http://www.alternet.org/story/147052/ It is quite astounding that Israel has been able to create over the past 12 hours a news blackout, no rx mevacor just as it did with its attack on Gaza 18 months ago, no rx mevacor into which our main media organisations have willingly allowed Israeli spokespeople to step in unchallenged. How many civilians were killed in Israelâ€™s dawn attack on the Gaza-bound flotilla of aid? We still donâ€™t know. How many wounded? Your guess is as good as mine. No rx mevacor Were the aid activists armed with guns? Yes, no rx mevacor says Israel. No rx mevacor Were they in cahoots with al-Qaeda and Hamas? Certainly, no rx mevacor says Israel. No rx mevacor Did the soldiers act reasonably? Of course, no rx mevacor they faced a lynch, no rx mevacor says Israel. If we needed any evidence of the degree to which Western TV journalists are simply stenographers to power, no rx mevacor the BBC, no rx mevacor CNN and others are amply proving it. No rx mevacor Mark Regev, no rx mevacor Israelâ€™s propagandist-in-chief, no rx mevacor has the airwaves largely to himself. The passengers on the ships, no rx mevacor meanwhile, no rx mevacor have been kidnapped by Israel and are unable to provide an alternative version of events. No rx mevacor 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 letâ€™s reiterate a few simple facts: * Israeli soldiers invaded these ships in international waters, no rx mevacor breaking international law, no rx mevacor and, no rx mevacor in killing civilians, no rx mevacor committed a war crime. No rx mevacor The counter-claim by Israeli commanders that their soldiers responded to an imminent â€œlynchâ€ 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. No rx mevacor They were armed with automatic weapons to pacify the civilians onboard, no rx mevacor but not with crowd dispersal equipment in case of resistance. No rx mevacor Whatever the circumstances of the confrontation, no rx mevacor Israel must be held responsible for sending in soldiers and recklessly endangering the lives of all the civilians onboard, no rx mevacor including a baby. Israel has no right to control Gazaâ€™s sea as its own territorial waters and to stop aid convoys arriving that way. No rx mevacor In doing so, no rx mevacor it proves that it is still in belligerent occupation of the enclave and its 1.5 million inhabitants. No rx mevacor And if it is occupying Gaza, no rx mevacor then under international law Israel is responsible for the welfare of the Stripâ€™s inhabitants. No rx mevacor Given that the blockade has put Palestinians there on a starvation diet for the past four years, no rx mevacor 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?