Al Jazeera reconstructs the events surrounding the Israeli assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla.
AlJazeeraEnglish — 14 June 2010 — In the early hours of Monday, May 31, the Israeli navy intercepted a flotilla of boats carrying thousands of tonnes of aid to Gaza. Nine passengers on the Mavi Marmara – the flotilla’s largest boat – were killed. This much we know. In the aftermath of the event, accounts from both sides have diverged wildly. Israel claims that it acted in self-defence against a group of “violent extremists” linked to al-Qaeda and Hamas, intent on breaching the military blockade of Gaza. The activists say they were frightened for their lives after being shot at from helicopters in the dark of night, their raised white flag ignored. They say Israel’s attack on their ship in international waters was unexpected and disproportionate. Examining claim and counter claim, A Vourney of Life and Death includes an exclusive interview with the captain of the Mavi Marmara, those on board the ships and previously unseen footage.