Haneen Zoabi: IDF boarded Gaza flotilla ships with intent to kill
Zuabi testified before UN panel probing Israeli naval commando raid that left nine Turkish citizens dead on May 31.
Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zuabi testified before a United Nations panel probing Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May, telling the panel that commandos who boarded the ships intended to kill, Army Radio reported on Tuesday.
“The naval commandos arrived at the Mavi Marmara with the intent to kill,” Zuabi was quoted as telling the UN panel.
She also reportedly told the panel that the large number of soldiers and the use of sophisticated weaponry points to the fact that Israeli soldiers meant to kill activists aboard the ship.
A UN inquiry team began hearings on Monday with Jordanian activists about the May 31 Israeli raid on a Turkish ship trying to break an Israeli naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish activists were killed in the raid.
The panel is due to report back to the UN Human Rights Council during its next session, between September 13 and October 11.
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.”
The UN fact-finding mission is chaired by Karl Hudson-Phillips, former judge of the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Israel has refused cooperation with the team, claiming it lacks neutrality.