Israel “executed” Turkish peace activists at point-blank range, says UN report

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Zafar Bangash

Shawwal 22, 1431 2010-10-01

News & Analysis

by Zafar Bangash (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 39, No. 8, Shawwal, 1431)

On September 22, the UN Fact-Finding Mission finally released its report about Israel’s May 31 attack on the peaceful Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza. The report confirmed that the Israelis had “executed” Turkish peace activists

On September 22, the UN Fact-Finding Mission finally released its report about Israel’s May 31 attack on the peaceful Turkish aid flotilla bound for Gaza. The report confirmed that the Israelis had “executed” Turkish peace activists including 19-year-old US citizen, Furkan Dogan, on the Mavi Marmara. While he was not the first US citizen to be murdered by the Israelis — the murder of 34 sailors on the USS Liberty in the Mediterranean on June 8, 1967 was followed in March 2006 by the brutal bulldozing of Rachel Corrie in Gaza — it marked a new low in Israeli state terrorism. Corrie was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to prevent it from demolishing a Palestinian family’s home. One wonders how many American citizens Israel must kill before the US government would take action against this illegitimate entity that survives on American handouts. Other countries have been attacked, bombed and destroyed without any justification but the Zionist entity, it seems, can do no wrong.

In the immediate aftermath of Israel’s murderous assault on the Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla in international waters on May 31 that left nine peace activists dead, a massive disinformation campaign was launched to cover up Israel’s crimes. These included not only allegations by Israeli leaders — military and civilian — that their forces were attacked and that there were “terrorists” on the boats, but this propaganda was joined by Western governments and their media outlets trying to protect the Zionist State from any international criticism. Western governments are quick to condemn the slightest infraction by non-friendly governments but would not support even calls for an independent international inquiry. Even the UN Security Council was not allowed to debate the issue.

Only a Fact-Finding Mission was sent to report on Israel’s killings. The report of the fact-finding mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on the Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla shows conclusively, for the first time, that US citizen Furkan Dogan and five Turkish citizens were murdered execution-style by Israeli commandos. Among them was 60-year-old Ibrahim Bilgen, a Turkish citizen. Bilgen is believed by forensics experts to have been shot initially from the helicopter above the Mavi Marmara and then shot in the side of the head while lying seriously wounded. The fact-finding mission was given forensic evidence that, after the initial shot in chest from above, Bilgen was shot in the head with a “soft baton round at such close proximity that an entire bean bag and its wadding penetrated the skull and lodged in the chest from above,” the UN mission concluded. “Soft baton rounds” are supposed to be fired for non-lethal purposes at a distance and aimed only at the stomach, but are lethal when fired at the head, especially from close range.

According to the report, Dogan was filming with a small video camera on the top deck of the Mavi Marmara when he was shot twice in the head, once in the back and in the left leg and foot and that he was shot in the face at point blank range while lying on the ground. Interestingly, the report’s revelations and conclusions about Israel’s mass murder on the high seas were widely reported in the Turkish media, but there was no mention of the report in any of the US media outlets. One wonders why there is so much concern to protect Israeli state crimes when there are deliberate lies spun against others, such as Islamic Iran, even when it is not guilty of any wrongdoing. The case of a woman facing a murder charge has been hyped up and one woman in Sweden even doctored a picture to show she was being lashed and tortured, an allegation she publicly denied and showed no signs of trauma or any other physical abuse.

Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old US citizen of Turkish descent, was aboard the Mavi Marmara when he was killed by Israeli commandos. The UN report further says that Dogan had apparently been “lying on the deck in a conscious or semi-conscious, state for some time” before being shot in his face. The forensic evidence that establishes that fact is “tattooing around the wound in his face,” indicating that the shot was “delivered at point blank range.” Based on both “forensic and firearm evidence,” the UN fact-finding panel concluded that Dogan’s killing and that of five Turkish citizens by Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmari on May 31 “can be characterized as extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions.” The report described that forensic evidence showed “the trajectory of the wound, from bottom to top, together with a vital abrasion to the left shoulder that could be consistent with the bullet exit point, is compatible with the shot being received while he was lying on the ground on his back.”

The Turkish government gave the autopsy report on Furkan Dogan to the US Embassy in Ankara last July hoping that the US government would take appropriate action concerning its own citizen. The US embassy forwarded the report to the State Department in Washington which sent it to the Department of Justice. According to a US government source, the purpose of obtaining the report from Turkey was to determine whether an investigation of the killing by the Justice Department (DOJ) was appropriate.

The UN report meanwhile has confirmed that from the beginning of the operation, passengers were fired on by helicopters flying above the Mavi Marmara to drop commandos on the deck. Contrary to Israeli claims that one or more Israeli troops were wounded by firearms, the report says no medical evidence of a gunshot wound to an Israeli soldier was found. The OHCHR report confirms accounts from passengers on the Mavi Marmara that defenders subdued roughly ten Israeli commandos, took their weapons from them and threw them in the sea, except for one weapon hidden as evidence. The Israeli soldiers were briefly sequestered below and some were treated for wounds before being released by the defenders.

Far from reprimanding the Zionist entity for its clear violation of international law on the high seas and of indulging in cold-blooded murder, some US officials are calling on Turkey to tone down its criticism of Israel and mend relations with it. Is there anything the illegitimate Zionist entity can do that would arouse concern in Washington?

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