HAIFA, Israel – Israeli warships attacked at least one of six ships carrying pro-Palestinian activists and aid for the blockaded Gaza Strip, killing at least two and wounding an unknown number of people on board. Israeli navy forces fired at the ship and boarded it, wounding the captain. The Turkish NTV network also reported an Israeli takeover with gunfire, and that at least two people were killed.
The al-Jazeera broadcast ended with a voice shouting in Hebrew, "Everybody shut up!"
A Turkish website showed video of pandemonium on board one of the ships, with activists in orange life jackets running around as some tried to help an activist apparently unconscious on the deck. The site also showed video of an Israeli helicopter flying overhead and Israeli warships nearby.
The flotilla was "fully prepared for the different scenarios" that might arise, and organizers were hopeful that Israeli authorities would "do what's right" and not stop the convoy. The flotilla, which includes three cargo ships and three passenger ships, is trying to draw attention to Israel's blockade of Gaza. The boats are carrying items that Israel bars from reaching Gaza, like cement and other building materials. The activists said they also were carrying hundreds of electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.