Video Release: "They are firing on us with live fire!"
01 June 2010 , 21:08
IDF commandos boarding the Mavi Marmara ship. Photo: IDF Spokesperson
Video shows soldiers on their way to intercepting the Mavi Marmara ship being shot at with live fire

During the operation to redirect the Gaza flotilla on Monday (May 31), IDF commandos boarded the Mavi Marmara ship.  On the other five ships which were part of the flotilla, the interception took place with no violence. When the soldiers attempted to board the Mavi Marmara, activists on board attacked the soldiers and stole two pistols in a prepared attack.

In this footage you can hear the radio exchange between soldiers on their way to the bridge and the IDF ship. The soldiers report encountering live fire and serious violence.

On Tuesday (June 1) Captain R., a Naval Special Forces commander of one of the squadrons who participated in the interception of the Mavi Marmara ship, said in an interview with IDF Radio: "There were terrorists who wanted to kill us. I cannot explain it any other way. We used every means possible in order that those who shouldnt get hurt would not get hurt."

Captain R. was stabbed in the stomach and was wounded in his arm. "After I descended from the helicopter, I was in front of several terrorists and I cocked my weapon when I saw one of them come towards me with a knife. I fired one shot, and at that point, another twenty people started coming at me from every direction. They jumped at me and hurled me to the lower deck. At the same time, I felt intense pain in my stomach. I saw a knife stabbed into my stomach and I pulled it out. I somehow managed to get to the lower level, where there was another mob of people.  I, along with other team members, jumped into the water. The third commando that was with us was hit in the head and lost consciousness," he said.

We came to speak, they came to fight.

Another naval soldier, who participated in the interception of the Mavi Marmara ship and sustained a broken arm while under attack by the ships passengers, described how the soldiers were shot at from the entrance to the ships corridor.

 I saw two from my group lying flat on the ground. From the opening of the corridor they were shooting at them the entire time with live fire, bullets. We identified a gun barrel, and one of us shot at the guy holding it. Afterwards we entered and he wasnt there. About 30 men, they simply came for war. We came to straighten things out, to speak to those who went downstairs, but each of us who descended was simply attacked.

There were some from my group that were thrown to the lower floor, and the passengers took their equipment. They jumped to the water as a last resort. We were told that if they didnt listen, we should shoot at their legs with our paintball guns. The pistol was to be used only if we really felt our lives in danger, which wasnt expected to happen. It would be extremely abnormal. But in the end, that is what happened.

We came with the intention of stopping the ship and taking it to Ashdod, and we did not come with the weapons we usually have, we came for something entirely different.