One of the Canadians who was part of the Gaza flotilla, and was on board the Mavi Marmara when the Israeli commandos stormed it, has provided an eye witness report of what happened. I strongly recommend that you read the whole article, What Kevin Neish Saw: Eye Witness to the Israeli Assault on the Mavi Marmara, by Dave Lindorff.
During the mayhem, Neish found the backpack of one of the commandos and flipped through a booklet he found inside it. The booklet had profiles and pictures of all the passengers as well as a detailed diagram of the layout of the decks of the ship, suggesting as other reports have noted that the attack was a planned hit. Neish also reports that he witnessed wounded and dead bodies being moved and that several of the bodies had clear signs of being executions:
"Meanwhile, he says, more and more people were being carried down the stairs from the mayhem above—people who'd been shot, and people who were dying or people already dead. 'I took detailed photos of the dead and wounded with my camera,' he says, adding, 'There were several guys who had two neat bullet holes side by side on the side of their head--clearly they were executed.'”
He explains that he threw away anything related to electronics that he had on him, but before throwing away his camera, he hid the memory card on his body:
“The Israelis took all the cameras and computers. They were smashing some and keeping others. I put the chip in my mouth under my tongue, between my butt cheeks, in my sock, everywhere, to keep them from finding it,” he says. He finally handed it to a Turk who was leaving for a flight home on a Turkish airline. He says the card ended up in the hands of an organization called Free Gaza, and he has seen some of his pictures published, so he knows they made it out successfully."
I wonder if the mainstream Canadian media will be making his photos and eyewitness account available to the public?
In an interview with Rabble, Neish explains that in the midst of the attack and resistance to it, Haneen Zoubi played a key role in trying to bring order and lessen injury and death by asking the Israeli soldiers over the PA system to stop attacking the passengers:
"Then a female voice came on announcing in English that everybody stop fighting, stop resisting, the bridge is seized, the Israelis have command of the ship, there's no sense risking your lives anymore, go to the lounges and drop your weapons, you know, weapons drop your pipes and chains and wooden staffs.
I just retreated with all the other Arab and Turkish folks. I sat where I was before, very close the back of the ship and there were Israelis peeking in the windows and flashing their laser-sighted guns all over the place. It was quite surreal.
But they wouldn't step in and the woman's voice kept on coming over saying "Israeli soldiers please, please stop shooting, we're not resisting anymore, we've released your captured soldiers. They're unharmed and they're released. Stop attacking us. Stop attacking us."
Eventually the Israelis, the soldiers, [Haneen Zoubi] she's an Arab Israeli Knesset member, she's in big shit, she's in jail right now, it's simple they took away her immunity so they can do whatever they want to her now.
She acted as a liaison, brave woman, she walked right out with her hands up because anyone who was standing, was a target, basically... She had her hands up and she came forward and explained that there were numerous injured. Then they packed these people off in makeshift stretchers and whatnot out to the Israelis. And the Israelis hauled them out to the doorway."