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Israeli Knesset member testifies to the UN that the IDF “came to kill”

Palestinenote.com

Palestinian-Israeli Knesset member Hanin Zoabi testified Tuesday before the a United Nations investigation of the May 31 “Freedom Flotilla” raid that left nine activists dead, Haaretz reported.

Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi [Wikimedia Commons]

Zoabi, who took part in the May 31 naval aid convoy bound for Gaza, told the investigating panel that soldiers boarded the ships with the intention “to kill,” Haaretz said.

The UN probe, led by the UN Human Rights Council, began in Jordan Monday, interviewing activists who took part in the aid flotilla. The UNHRC probe has interviewed so far Zoabi and six others the report said.

Haaretz reported:

“It was evident from the beginning that the commandoes viewed all of us activists as terrorists, Zuabi told The Associated Press after her testimony before a three-member UN team headed by Karl Hudson-Phillips, former judge of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Israel’s use of large numbers of elite troops with sophisticated weaponry showed it intended to kill the passengers, added the lawmaker, who was aboard the Turkish-flagged Mavi Marmara, where the killing took place.

“We were very peaceful activists, but the commandoes came to kill,” she said.

Israel has rebuffed the UNHRC probe, claiming negative bias, but Israel is cooperating as of now with a UN inquiry led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

Israel launched two internal investigations after the high-seas raid, one military and one legal. The military probe was completed last month and found that while some mistakes were made, the offensive was well-executed over all.

The legal probe is investigating possible violations in international law in not only the May 31 raid but also the Gaza blockade itself, which aid ships were sailing to relieve. That probe, the Turkel Commission, is on going.

Zoabi has caught rough treatment for her participation in the Freedom Flotilla, causing lawmakers to call for the stripping of her parliamentary privileges. Said Haaretz:

The Knesset in mid-July voted to revoke three parliamentary privileges from Zuabi (Balad) due to her participation in the aid flotilla that sailed to Gaza.

Thirty-four lawmakers voted in favor of stripping Zuabi’s privileges and 16 voted against, after a heated debate, in which Zuabi accused her fellow lawmakers of punishing her out of vengeance.

Zuabi responded to the Knesset vote by saying, “It’s not surprising that a country that strips the fundamental rights of its Arab citizens would revoke the privileges of a Knesset member who loyally represents her electorate.”

View the original article at Palestinenote.com

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