Demonstrators Use Violence Against Israeli Navy Soldiers Attempting to Board Ship, 31 May 2010

Early today IDF troops were engaged by activists on board six different ships. Naval forces were attempting to direct the ships off their original course heading towards the closed Gaza strip towards Ashdod Port. The humanitarian supplies on board the ships were to be removed, loaded on truck, and trucked across land to their final destination because of the closed water access to the area.

The attack on the soldiers happened while they were attempting to board the ships and was accomplished with a combination of light weapons, such as knives and clubs, as well as live fire. The attack was clearly pre-planned as all but one of the weapons were on board, that additional firearm was wrestled away from one of the IDF soldiers.

Because of the clear and present danger IDF forces engaged with the activists. Initial reports indicated that this firefight resulted in 10 deaths and several injuries among the activists. Four soldiers were injured, two were moderately injured, and the rest were either lightly injured or unscathed. All injured parties, IDF and activists, are being flown to local hospitals for treatment.

Statements from the IDF forces on scene indicate a clear intention of the activists to lynch the soldiers.

Events are ongoing and reports will continue to be released as details emerge.

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