As many of you know, the IDF did its best to try and keep the people on the Gaza Freedom Flotillas from being able to contact the outside world during the Israeli assaults on them. Radio frequencies were jammed during the attack and all cameras, cellphones, computers -- anything that could have been used to record and/or transmit information -- were "confiscated" (read: stolen) from the passengers and crew by the IDF.
But they didn't get it all.
Just as chief correspondent Paul McGeough and the photographer Kate Geraghty of the Sydney Morning Herald hid some photos, Iara Lee managed to get some video past the Israeli dragnet, and showed an hour's worth of it today at the United Nations. More after the jump.
From Democracy NOW!:
JUAN GONZALEZ: The issue of these explosions, several people have said, have told us, that the explosions occurred, and even some shooting, before any soldier landed on the boat. Is that your recollection, or do you know for sure?
IARA LEE: We didn’t have guns. We were, you know, grabbing chairs. And, you know, the boys were taking like whatever they could get hold of, like broomsticks and so forth. And it was just completely disproportionate. And the injuries and the dead people started happening very quickly, to the point that—you know, you can see here in the footage. They managed to get hold of some Israeli soldiers, but obviously we were so brainwashed about nonviolence as our methodology that we didn’t kill any of the Israeli soldiers. Actually, when they got injured with the commotion, they actually got treated by our passengers. But the megaphone kept saying, "We are civilians. Don’t use violence. And we have extremely injured people. We need medical help," because we were not prepared medically to take care of, like, dead people. But we were ignored, and a lot of people who were injured actually ended up bleeding to death and died.
AMY GOODMAN: Describe that, because this is the footage, as the narrative was laid out over the days, we of course did not see, although the Israeli military has all of it in their possession. This footage that you have shows one person after another being dragged out and attempts at treating them. Describe the injuries that you saw.
IARA LEE: As I said, I was going up and down, just trying to get an overview and making sure some of the people I knew were OK. And, you know, like, it was very chaotic. I just know that when they call us like a hate boat, this is insane, because obviously we were there to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza, and they were the ones using live ammunition, to the point when they did the autopsy, the people who are found dead, they had like thirty bullets. So, can we say the Israeli navy and the commandos, they came to play ball with us? No, they came to kill. They wanted to take over the ship. And we were actually—according to some research, the ship was even fleeing, because we didn’t want this kind of like heavy confrontation. But they came in the middle of international waters and overpowered us.
And from later in the interview:
IARA LEE: Yes, I think the miscalculation was that the Israelis thought, by jamming our satellite system, the world would not have any access to information. And they didn’t know that we had a backup system that was able to transmit live some of the events. And obviously it was dark in the middle of the ocean, so they thought they had it all taken care, as far as like no information would come out. They would be the only ones holding the information, because they were obviously filming. And we were hundreds of people, so some of us did manage to get, you know, photographs and video footage out. And today we are showing raw, uncensored footage, and everybody can take the clue. And we’ll make it available to the world for investigations.