This morning, the “IDF Radio" (Galei Zahal) website published a video of MK Hanin Zoabi (National Democratic Assembly) with IHH activists armed with clubs and batons on board the "Mavi Marmara", the Turkish ship in the flotilla to Gaza in late May. Zoabi previously denied she knew of weapons on the Turkish ship in the flotilla to Gaza.
The video was taken in the "Mavi Marmara's" hold. Zoabi is seen wearing an orange life vest standing next to a large group of armed activists.
Zoabi is seen displeased that she was photographed, and she tries to cover the camera lens with her hand. According to an Israel Navy commando, at this point, three Navy commandos were being taken into the hold in an attempt to use them as hostages, and on the evidence of the video, Zoabi must have seen this.
Later in the video, Zoabi is heard arguing with one of the commando commanders in an effort to prevent the evacuation of a severely wounded soldier to hospital. In the clip, an officer tells Zoabi that the soldier should be evacuated. Zoabi replied, "He doesn’t want to be evacuated."
The officer said, "What? He doesn’t want to be evacuated? Where do you want to take him? To Lebanon?"
Until now, Zoabi has denied that she knew that activists on the "Mavi Marmara" were armed. She claims that she aided the casualties and translated what the activists said into Hebrew.
Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin intends to send the video to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.
In an interview with "Galei Zahal", Zoabi denied the charges against her. She said, "I was not on the lower deck, and I didn’t say it. I was on the upper deck, outside with the journalists. I did not see clubs in the hands of people, and I do not distinguish between soldiers and activists. No one near me had clubs. I want the IDF to release all the clips without censorship."
As for the delay in evacuating the wounded soldier, Zoabi said, "You're making things up. There were many wounded who said that they did not want to enter Israel, and that they wanted to stay on board."
As for the attempt to cover the camera lens to avoid being photographed, Zoabi said, "I want to protect people's lives. I did not want to be photographed crying, which was why I covered the camera. I was stunned by the tragedy and the bodies around me. People were threatened by armed soldiers and scared, and I didn’t want to be photographed like that. I was the victim on the ship. I challenge the solders to testify exactly what happened. I helped people on the ship to prevent further bloodshed."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 11, 2010
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