September 27, 2010 – The Israeli military expressed a “pointless violence” when they intercepted a flotilla going in Gaza May 31, said Monday in Geneva Judge Karl Hudson-Phillips, head of the International Mission of independent establishing the facts established by the Council on Human Rights. Nine civilians died and several others were injured in the incident against a flotilla of ships that went to Turkey to bring aid to the population of Gaza, which is blockaded by Israel since 2007. The mission, which is different from the Panel of Eminent Persons set up in early August by the UN Secretary-General to consider the same incident, said the Israeli military behavior towards passenger fleet was “disproportionate and excessive,” said J. Hudson-Phillips to the Board of Human Rights in which he presented the 56-page report prepared by the Mission.
The report, which was released last week estimated that the interception on the high Mavi Marmara Sea, a ship belonging to the fleet, was “clearly illegal.” The three members of the mission believe that there is enough evidence to bring criminal prosecutions. They regret that the Israeli government has refused to cooperate with the mission. According to Judge Hudson-Phillips, no weapons have been seized on ships in the fleet with the exception of a few slingshots. When it appeared that Israeli forces were planning to board the Mavi Marmara, a very small group of passengers were armed with sticks and iron railings ripped from the ship, “he said. There is no evidence that shots were fired in the direction of Mavi Marmara ships carrying Israeli military said the judge.
In contrast, “the Israeli military fired live ammunition against the passengers of Mavi Marmara, killing nine of them and wounding over 50 others, six of the deceased were victims of summary executions, two were shot after have been seriously injured and then they could not defend itself, “said Judge Hudson-Phillips. The Mission Council of Human Rights has also found that Israeli forces, after seizing control of the Mavi Marmara handcuffed almost all the passengers and made to kneel for hours. When they have landed at the port of Ashdod, they tried to get them to sign confessions that they had entered Israel illegally. Those who refused to sign or give their fingerprints have been beaten. The mission, headed by Justice K. Hudson-Phillips, a former judge at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, interviewed over 100 witnesses in Geneva, London, Istanbul and Amman. The Mission also has two other members: Desmond de Silva, a former prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and Shanthi Dairiam, former member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
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