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PM: Mercenaries aboard Gaza ship

June 6, 2010 12:12

"Evidence shows separate group of violent Islamists boarded flotilla."

An IDF solider beaten after boarding the Gaza prot

IDFsoliderbeatenOnFlotilla311. (photo credit:IDF Spokesperson.)

Accumulating evidence in the IDF’s investigation of the Gaza flotilla incident is pointing to the fact a separate group of Islamist radicals whose sole intention was to initiate a violent conflict was aboard the Mavi Marmara, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the opening of Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

He said that a group of street-fighters "boarded the ship at a separate port, did their own provisioning, and were not subject to the same security check of their luggage as all the other passengers.”

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IDF: Images prove soldiers' lives were in danger
Duped: Why didn't the IDF know more about the passengers?
'We had no choice, they were coming at us with murder in their eyes'

The prime minister's remarks followed IDF reports that a group of about 50 men – of the 700 on board – had been identified as being well-trained, and a ringleader who recruited them from the northwestern Turkey city of Bursa.

The group was split up into smaller squads that were distributed throughout the deck and communicated with one another with handheld communication devices. The men wore bulletproof vests and gas masks and laid an ambush for the Shayetet 13 soldiers as they
rapelled onto the ship's deck from a helicopter.

The members of this violent group were not carrying identity cards or passports. Instead, each of them had an envelope in his pocket with about $10,000 in cash.

Videos from Mavi Marmara security cameras, released last week by the IDF, show the group of activists brandishing metal bars, slingshots, and other assorted weaponry.
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