Submitted Testimony Disregarded by the UN Human Rights Council’s Flotilla Probe

In a 17 September 2010 communication to UN Watch, the UN Human Rights Council flotilla probe stated that “all the information that [was] made available through UN Watch has been studied by the fact-finding mission.” In fact, however, with one exception, the 40-plus items below were entirely ignored by the inquiry and its report.


From: Hillel Neuer
Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 2:51 PM
To: UNHRC  Fact Finding Mission on the Flotilla
Subject: Submission to Flotilla Fact Finding Mission

Dear Mr. Monge,

United Nations Watch is a non-governmental organization accredited to the United Nations in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC.

We hereby submit the following relevant information to the Human Rights Council International Independent Fact Finding Mission established by Resolution A/HRC/Res/14/1, in regard to the flotilla incident of 31 May 2010:

1.       The documents found on the regularly updated website of Israel’s Public Commission to Examine the Maritime Incident of 31.5.10, chaired by retired Supreme Court Judge Jacob Turkel


2.       Film produced by the IDF’s Eiland Team of Experts which breaks down the events of the flotilla using a timeline that alternates between 3D models and footage captured throughout the incident.

Part 1:

Part 2:

3.       BBC Panorama TV documentary on the flotilla.
Part 1:

Part 2:

We intend to follow up with further information relevant to the Mission.

Please accept, Sir, the assurance of my highest consideration.


Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director
United Nations Watch


From: Hillel Neuer
Sent: Friday, September 03, 2010 6:31 PM
To: UNHRC Fact Finding Mission on the Flotilla
Subject: meeting request and 2nd information submission

Second UN Watch Submission of Information to the Flotilla Fact Finding Mission

This second submission by UN Watch consists of relevant information published by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, in the form of the following bulletins.

  • Bulletin of 26-08-2010
    Erdinç Tekir, IHH operative wounded aboard the Mavi Marmara, participated in the 1996 terrorist attack on the Russian ferry Avrasya to bargain for the release Chechens from Russian prisons. Information indicates a past connection between IHH, and global jihad and Islamist terrorist networks, including Chechen Islamist separatists.


From: Hillel Neuer
Sent: Monday, September 06, 2010 6:19 PM
To: Juan Carlos Monge, UNHRC Fact Finding Mission on the Flotilla
Subject: 3rd Submission of Materials

Dear Mr. Monge,

I am pleased to hereby submit UN Watch’s Third Submission of Materials to the FFM.


Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director
UN Watch


3rd UN Watch Submission of Materials to Flotilla FFM

A.   The weapons on the Marmara and the violence against IDF soldiers

1.      Two Israeli soldiers speak about the events on the Marmara


2.      The preparations on the ship and the confrontation

00:50 – 01:25:  Sharpening iron poles and distributing them to activists.

01:56 – 02:20:  Distributing gas masks.

3.      The development of the events on the ship

00:22 – 00:41:  Sheikh Raed Salah and another IHH activist, on the ship, talking about the desire to break the blockade and die as “shahids“.

00:41 – 01:35:  Explanations about the blockade and information concerning the daily humanitarian supply delivered to Gaza.

01:36 – 02:30:  The diplomatic attempt to stop the flotilla and to transfer the supplies through Israel.

02:31 – 03:12:  The conversation on the radio communications network between the Israeli naval forces and the ship. The soldiers are informing the ship that they are approaching an area that is subject to a maritime blockade, and asking them to transfer the supplies through an Israeli port. The speaker on the Marmara answers with cursing and swearing.

03:12 – 04:40:  Soldiers’ testimonies about the events and documented violence of the IHH activists (using cold weapons and live firearms).

04:40 – 06:10:  Events immediately following establishment of Israeli control of the ship, including evacuation of the wounded.

4.      Violence towards IDF soldiers

A short film (1:04) without sound showing precise images of IHH activists brutally attacking IDF soldiers.

5.      Communications heard on the IDF radio network while the first soldiers boarding the ship encounter violence

00:00 – 01:10:  Close and accurate images of soldiers boarding the deck and facing a brutal lynch.

6.      Soldiers boarding the deck and facing extreme violence

00:00 – 01:57:  Violence against the soldiers boarding the ship and the numerous weapons found on the ship.

7.      Close up of IHH activists beating soldiers

00:12 – 03:02:  Different stages of the fighting (the last few seconds show IHH activist stabbing a soldier with a knife in his back).

8.      Detailed documentation of the weapons found on the Marmara (in Hebrew, but includes many photos).

Detailed documentation of the weapons found on the ship: firearms (one or two), various other weapons (Molotov cocktails, iron poles, wooden clubs, axes, knives, tools, catapults, rocks, screws, screw-nuts, in bulks and in containers). Electric saws were brought to the ship in order to saw banisters and chains and use them as improvised attack weapons and in order to cut IDF’s climbing equipment. Furthermore, defensive equipment was found on the ship, another fact that indicates the hostile intentions of the IHH activists (the equipment included, among other things, ceramic bulletproof vests (used by militaries), field-glasses, communications equipment, night vision equipment, gas masks, head flashlights, and smoke flares. The passengers brought on board diving equipment and fishing rifles, on the assumption that the IDF may try to neutralize the ship underwater. Another important fact is that a field hospital was established on the ship in advance, in order to receive the wounded from the planned fighting.

9.      The weapons on the ship

00:24 – 00:50:  Various weapons found on the ship.

10. The questioning of the two Captains of the Marmara (attached as wma file)

The Captains – Mahmut Tuval (5:16 minutes) and Gokkiran Gokhan (04:02 minutes).

From the questioning of Tuval:


A:  I asked the Chief responsible, he said they cut the strings.

Q:  And the chains also?

A:  And chains.


Q: Were they preparing themselves for the violence against soldiers?

A: Yes, for what I was reported.

From the questioning of Gokhan:


Q: Did you see them cutting [the railings]?
A: They [the iron rods] were already cut. It was all over.
Q: Who did the cutting?
A: I didn’t see.
Q: Who was holding the disk?
A: The disks were lying in a corner of the stairs and the senior guy [apparently a reference to Bülent Yildirim] was next to them.
Q: The senior guy from IHH?
A: Yes.
Q: Who did the disks belong to?
A: I don’t know, they didn’t belong to the ship. We don’t have equipment like that on board. On deck there were metal poles with clips for cables, when I got there they had been cut.


Q: You seem to be saying that the people from IHH were in control of the ship. Did the crew need their permission to move around the ship?
A: Definitely, they [i.e. IHH operatives] didn’t let people they didn’t know move around.
Q: Did they prevent anyone they didn’t know from moving freely around the ship?
A: Yes, definitely.
Q: And was that from the first moment they went up on deck?
A: Yes, definitely.
Q: How did the IHH operatives communicate with one another?
A: When they [the IHH operatives] got on board in Istanbul they brought walkie-talkies with them. They were handed out to the IHH operatives and the crew.
Q: Did you [the crew] get them as well?
A: Yes, each one worked on a different frequency.
Q: I don’t understand, they didn’t let the passengers and crew go from one deck to another?
A: They could go anywhere except to the control center they set up on the bridge.
Q: How many IHH operatives were there on the upper deck.
A: Forty.
Q: The same forty all the time or did they change?
A: More of less the same forty.
Q: You’re referring to the group that joined the ship in Istanbul?
A: Yes.

B.   Background information regarding the IHH and the Marmara passengers

1.      BBC Panorama

Jane Corbin’s report about the flotilla

(Video no. 1)

02:03:  soldier’s interview

“They carried metal ropes. And they carried chain saws and axes and they used all of them”.

“These people came as peace activists and now we are facing terrorists”.

02:53:  Maj Gen (retired) Giora Eiland, Head of IDF Inquiry

Eiland: “They were committed to kill and to be killed. Under this kind of circumstances, in a very complex area like the ship, the results are surprisingly low”.

Corbin: “The deaths are surprisingly low?”

Eiland: “Yes”.

06:20: Bülent Yildirim, IHH leader, incites the activists on the ship

“We’re going to defeat the Israeli commandos – we’re declaring it now. If you bring your soldiers here, we will throw them off the ship and you’ll be humiliated in front of the whole world”.


Corbin: “The IHH isn’t just known for their humanitarian work. Western authorities have accused them of having links to terrorist organizations”.


Corbin: “The IHH have close ties to politicians and to the government in Turkey, which is led by a former Islamist party.


Eiland: “These forty people were prepared for this kind of violence and the rest of the people, many of them were innocent people”.

02:09: Captain R – one of the first Israeli commandos on deck – describes the activists’ violence against him. He was stabbed and beaten up.

04:30:  Recording of the Israeli commandos – the moment they found out the IHH are using real weapons.


Eiland: “We have very clear evidence that at least in four cases the other side used live fire. In some of them they were using the Israeli weapons that were stolen from our soldiers, but at least in one case they did use their weapon. Because we found bullets and shells of weapons that are not in use in Israeli forces.”


Eiland: “Unfortunately they managed to achieve exactly what they wanted, and this is to create a provocation that they will be able to show that Israel have caused the death of nine “civilians” so Israel is using excessive force and Israel is guilty for everything and unfortunately it was quite successful.”


Corbin: “So what about the aid the IHH said was the reason for their mission? Some of it arrived in Gaza from Israel and is sitting in a warehouse…. But I found that two thirds of the medicines were out of date and useless”.

2.      Washington Post news report about the IHH and its support of Hamas

“The relationship between Mr. Erdogan’s government and the IHH ought to be one focus of any international investigation into the incident. The foundation is a member of the “Union of Good,” a coalition that was formed to provide material support to Hamas and that was named as a terrorist entity by the United States in 2008″.

3.      Incitement speech of IHH leader Bülent Yildirim on the ship, before the Israeli forces arrived

Yildirim preaches in Turkish and next to him stands a person who translates the speech into Arabic. Sheikh Raed Salah sits in the front row.

4.      Al Jazeera report from the ship, a day before the Israeli forces arrived

00:20 – 00:30:  Intifada songs on board the ship.

00:31 – 00:42:  A woman on the ship says she wants to die as “shahid” on the ship.

5.      A report that shows that all 9 people killed were IHH activists

The report includes, in the annexes, a list of all the passengers on the Marmara, their organizational affiliation and their nationality (two other lists name all the wounded and their nationality).

6.      An interview with IHH member on the ship

(the second film on the page)

(02:50 minutes) a passenger talks:

00:19 – 02:14:

“When I went on the first convoy I wanted to be a shahid. I wasn’t that lucky. Second time wanted to be a shahid. Didn’t work. Third time lucky, Inshaala, I will be a shahid. They won’t touch me. I am not scared of them. Never be scared of them. We’re Muslims! Muslim people not scared of those cockroaches. So I’m not worried.”

“If Israelis dare and try to fight us, we’re going to give them a really good fight. Let them try. We show them who we are, because we are Muslims, we not scared to die. And I know, for fact, they love to live. They scared of death. So Inshaala, Alla with us, we going to win. We going to get to Gaza. I’ve got so much confident that we going to get to Gaza. So, I’m sitting here just relaxing waiting for that battle. Just very patient. I really really want to see that. I can’t wait. I can’t wait to see the Israelis. If I die as a shahid, I want to tell my children and my wife that I love them a lot. I miss them a lot. And I want them to be really proud of me as a father, as a husband, as a family. Their father died for a really good cause”.

7.      Information regarding the 9 people that were killed

The report shows that 7 of the 9 passengers that were killed declared they wanted to die as “shahids”, and that 8 of the 9 who were killed were affiliated with Turkish Islamist groups (and that none of the 9 who were killed was a peace activist or human rights activist).

8.      Text of Declarations of some of the passengers killed

(from the IHH website)

Furkan Doğan

During the moments the Israeli soldiers were attacking the Mavi Marmara ship that was carrying humanitarian aid to embargoed people of Palestine, Furkan was writing these words on a piece of paper: “Last hours before martyrdom. Is there anything sweeter? If there is, that is only my mother. But I am not sure about that either. It is hard to compare the two. Martyrdom or my mother? The hall is empty now. An atmosphere of solemnity has taken over everyone for the first time…

Ali Haydar Bengi

“Stressed in his recent scholarly studies and lectures correct understanding of religion, achieving unity among Muslims, and liberating al-Quds”.

Cengiz Akyüz

He would attend wedding and funeral of anybody he knew and sing hymns, religious songs and play bendir. His favorite songs were those on martyrdom. “Now, you may write a song of martyrdom after me,” he told his friends while leaving to join the Gaza flotilla.

Çetin Topçuoğlu

“We conquered the world of taekwondo and now it is time to conquer the hereafter, Allah willing.”

9.      British naval analyst on the flotilla lynch

Peter Cook, Maritime security expert, analyses the flotilla battle. He talks about the alternative ways to gain control over the ship and about the choice to use paint-guns.

C.   Information on involvement of Israeli MK Haneen Zoabi with IHH militants


Article explaining events shown on video:

From: Hillel Neuer
Sent: Wednesday, September 08, 2010 3:27 PM
To: UNHRC Fact Finding Mission on the Flotilla
Subject: testimony of IDF Chief Military Advocate, General MandelblitDear Mr. Monge,Although we have already submitted the general link to the Turkel Commission documents, I wish hereby to call attention of the FFM specifically to the highly relevant testimony of the Chief Military Advocate, General Mandelblit, found here:,Hillel Neuer


From: Hillel Neuer

Sent: Monday, September 13, 2010 10:57 PM
To: ‘Juan Carlos Monge’
Subject: Position Paper by IDF Military Advocate General to the Public Committee Investigating the Naval Incident of the 31st of May 2010

Dear Mr. Monge,

I wish to call attention of the FFM to the following document:  Position Paper on the Legal Aspects Relating to the Imposition of a Naval Blockade on the Gaza Strip and its Enforcement Provided by the IDF Military Advocate General to the Public Committee Investigating the Naval Incident of the 31st of May 2010. The following web page includes a link to the Hebrew version of this document, and promises an English translation soon:


Hillel Neuer
UN Watch


UN Watch