It's Official: There was No Humanitarian Aid on Mavi Marmara
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed Israel's representatives the world over that there were never any humanitarian supplies or equipment aboard the Mavi Marmara, where Israeli commandos were ambushed by armed mercenaries posing as peace activists. The commandos opened fire and killed nine of the attackers after three soldiers had been brutalized and temporarily captured.
Of the seven flotilla ships that were intercepted by Israel on May 31 and afterward, only four were freight ships, the MFA reported to its embassies and consulates: The Challenger 1 (a small yacht), the Sfendonh (a small passenger boat) and the Mavi Marmara (a passenger ship) did not carry any humanitarian aid, and had only the passengers' personal belongings.
The four freight ships are the Gaza, the Sofia, the Defeny and the Rachel Corrie. As of June 7, Israel had only offloaded equipment from the Defeny. The equipment offloaded was loaded onto 26 trucks, and an additional eight trucks are waiting at the Kerem Shalom crossing to enter Gaza.
The equipment includes:
1. 300 wheelchairs
2. 300 new mobility scooters
3. 100 special mobility scooters for the disabled
4. Hundreds of crutches
5. 250 hospital beds
6. 50 sofas
7. Four tons of medicine
8. 20 tons of clothing, carpets, school bags, cloth and shoes
9. Various hospital equipment - closets and cabinets, operating theater equipment, etc.
10. Playground equipment
The equipment remaining at Ashdod Port on the three cargo ships which have not been offloaded include some 2000 tons of construction equipment - building materials and tools, and construction waste (rubble, toilets, sinks and cement) for re-use.
The MFA noted that:
The equipment does not constitute humanitarian aid in the accepted sense (basic foodstuffs, new and functional equipment, fresh medicines).
The humanitarian aid on the four cargo ships was scattered in the ships' holds and thrown onto piles and not packed properly for transport. The equipment was not packaged and not properly placed on wooden bases. Because of the improper packing, some of the equipment was crushed by the weight in transit.
The medicines and sensitive equipment (operating theater equipment, new clothing, etc.) are being kept in cool storage at the Defense Ministry base. Some of the medicines had already expired, and some will expire soon. The operating theater equipment, which should be kept sterile, was carelessly wrapped. A large part of the equipment, particularly shoes and clothing, was used and worn.