Unedited Video of Israeli Raid Posted Online
Iara Lee, a Brazilian-American filmmaker and activist who was shooting a documentary on the flotilla of ships that was intercepted last week on its way to Gaza, has posted one hour of unedited video online that shows the early stages of the Israeli commando raid.
Ms. Lee’s raw video, posted on YouTube on Friday, gives viewers a chance to see the atmosphere on the main ship in the flotilla, the Mavi Marmara, just before and during the raid. The footage was shot over the course of more than one hour, as the camera was turned on and off a few times, but it shows long, uninterrupted stretches of the event. (Please be aware that the video contains graphic images of people who have been badly wounded and may have died.)
Since the camera was on a lower deck of the ship, it also shows but does not give a clear view of the violent confrontation and shootings that took place on the top deck of the ship, after Israeli commandos boarded from a helicopter and met with resistance from passengers on board. But the video, and accompanying audio, will help give a better sense of the timeline of the raid. It also shows clearly the area of the ship where wounded and dying passengers — and soldiers — were brought for medical treatment.
At a news conference at the United Nations on Thursday, where the video was screened for members of the media, Ms. Lee explained that she managed to smuggle out the video by hiding the card. She added that another video card she tried to hide was discovered and confiscated by Israeli authorities, along with her video equipment.
Ms. Lee also said that her success at smuggling the video out may have been partly because, in her view, the Israeli soldiers who were given the task of searching the detainees from the flotilla of ships were “young people who didn’t seem to want to be there.” She pointed out that some of the other journalists on board the ship had also managed to smuggle out cards with photographs and a much smaller amount of video.
The video Ms. Lee’s cameraman shot was recorded in high definition. A 15-minute edit of the material was also made available on Vimeo in HD:
At the U.N. news conference, Ms. Lee rejected claims that the passengers on the ship expected the Israelis to use violence. She said “people were naive,” and fully expected to be allowed to pass through the Israeli naval blockade and reach Gaza. She also said that she hopes that expert analysis of the video will help to make clear when the first shots of live ammunition were fired, since the Israeli military seemed to fire shots from non-lethal weapons at the outset of the raid.