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Sunday, 6 June 2010

Head Shots, Close Range



"Israel was tonight under pressure to allow an independent inquiry into its assault on the Gaza aid flotilla after autopsy results on the bodies of those killed, obtained by the Guardian, revealed they were peppered with 9mm bullets, many fired at close range.

"Nine Turkish men on board the Mavi Marmara were shot a total of 30 times and five were killed by gunshot wounds to the head, according to the vice-chairman of the Turkish council of forensic medicine, which carried out the autopsies for the Turkish ministry of justice today.

"The results revealed that a 60-year-old man, Ibrahim Bilgen, was shot four times in the temple, chest, hip and back. A 19-year-old, named as Fulkan Dogan, who also has US citizenship, was shot five times from less than 45cm, in the face, in the back of the head, twice in the leg and once in the back. Two other men were shot four times, and five of the victims were shot either in the back of the head or in the back, said Yalcin Buyuk, vice-chairman of the council of forensic medicine.

"The findings emerged as more survivors gave their accounts of the raids. Ismail Patel, the chairman of Leicester-based pro-Palestinian group Friends of al-Aqsa, who returned to Britain today, told how he witnessed some of the fatal shootings and claimed that Israel had operated a 'shoot to kill policy'.

"He calculated that during the bloodiest part of the assault, Israeli commandos shot one person every minute. One man was fatally shot in the back of the head just two feet in front him and another was shot once between the eyes. He added that as well as the fatally wounded, 48 others were suffering from gunshot wounds and six activists remained missing, suggesting the death toll may increase.

"The new information about the manner and intensity of the killings undermines Israel's insistence that its soldiers opened fire only in self defence and in response to attacks by the activists.

"'Given the very disturbing evidence which contradicts the line from the Israeli media and suggests that Israelis have been very selective in the way they have addressed this, there is now an overwhelming need for an international inquiry,' said Andrew Slaughter MP, a member of the all party group on Britain and Palestine."

Funeral in Istanbul for victims of Gaza flotilla raid

"Gaza flotilla activists were shot in the head at close range": Guardian 4 June 2010 via Zeitgeist Spam

Protest against attack on ships to Gaza, Stockholm, 1 June 2010: photo by liftam, 2009

Coffin draped in Turkish and Palestinian flags is carried along during funeral service for victims of Israeli raid on Gaza flotilla ships, 4 June 2010: photo by AFP, 2010

Thousands gathered in Istanbul to pray alongside the coffins of victims of the Gaza flotilla raid: photo by Ibrahim Usta/AP


TC said...

Tom Raworth links to another informative Guardian piece: an interview with flotilla boat passenger and Swedish crime novelist Henning Mankell, who says "I think the Israeli military went out to commit murder".



Pretty grim stuff, huh -- the truth leaks out out, drop by drop, those trying to stop it won't be able to -- so also in the gulf alas. . . .


grey whiteness of cloud against invisible
ridge, blue jay lifting from pine branch
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

similar perspective, working
with perspective frame

there, as sight could appear
present, fact of which

line of fog on horizon across from point,
half moon in cloudless blue sky above it

TC said...

"...the truth leaks out out, drop by drop, those trying to stop it won't be able to -- so also in the gulf alas..."

similar perspective, working
with perspective frame

The Blanqui question: parallel universes, or same one, repeating itself over and over?

(Steve, that inadvertent, interesting double "out" puts me in mind of "Out, damned spot! out, I say!")


Thanks Tom, and yes, "out out damn spot" -- I'm still thinking of those poor oil-soaked red pelicans you showed us yesterday, of course (saw others flying about here yesterday, free as birds. . . .). Saw that moon up there yesterday morning too, later in day, further along in its waning than the one in TR's lovely photo above "Matins."

TC said...


Yes, I know that further-along-in-its-waning feeling... perhaps a bit too well, this week.

human being said...

ladies and gentlemen...
the first act of the play has come to an end... have a short break... then enjoy more action!!!

TC said...


All the world's a stage, but it seems in this country most of the audience is seated behind a pillar.



Not waning too much I hope. What with all these clouds, no moon sightings lately (though blue is beginning to burn through now, maybe it will be seeable soon? Meanwhile, a still unsullied (by oil) pelican 'appears' in last line of today's poem, giving some hope (I hope). . . .

TC said...

And it was cheering to find it there, Steve. As always our link to life.

Moon gone, bright sun now poking out through cloud here (9.30)...

About "waning": thinking about events signified in this posted article creates numb dead feeling as of having been shot in back of head by rubber bullets. In punishment for thoughts? -- or too much coffee? Must consult a pillow.

~otto~ said...

I worked in journalism for a long time and at this point my outrage is less about this incident than it is about how there are so many of these incidents and there is not enough outrage. The whole thing disgusts me -- and the media on the whole disgusts me too.

TC said...


Yep. The "coverage" on this one, in the mainstream media in this country, has sounded like it was coming from a yokel wearing a Dupe Me sign. Mafia style executions in international waters, and the media have given equal time to the fabrication of dark weaponry supposed to be in the hands of these possibly slightly dingy but certainly very badly fucked-over boat people. (The Swedish novelist and others have explained that the "weapons" in fact were pretty much a Bic razor.)