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Daily Israel Report

Israeli General: Flotilla Crew Planned to Kill and be Killed

Wife of man killed on Flotilla says 'he wanted to be a martyr'. General Eiland tells BBC: Flotilla crew planned violence.
By Eli Stutz
First Publish: 8/16/2010, 9:40 AM / Last Update: 8/16/2010, 10:02 AM

Flash 90

Ex-Israeli General Giora Eiland told BBC's Panorama Television program that Gaza-bound Flotilla crew members were deliberately planning violence. "They (the activists) were committed to kill and be killed," said Eiland.

Eiland led a military inquiry into the events surrounding the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident. Eiland said that the resistance of the flotilla crew was "huge" and that it was surprising that there weren't more people killed, especially in a complex area such as a ship.

Meanwhile, the BBC posted a video story on one flotilla crew member who was killed in the incident, Turkish citizen Cevdet Kiliclar. Kilicar was the website manager for the IHH, the organization behind the flotilla. Kilicar took video footage and photos during the voyage and subsequent incident, and he is seen in the video praying with the rest of the crew. He is also on tape saying about two Muslims killed in Afghanistan, "may they rest in peace," and wishing, "may Allah grant us the same fortunate ending as them."

During his funeral in Istanbul, Kilicar's wife said, "He was crying his eyes out over Gaza. He wanted to be a martyr there."

The IDF military inquiry last month concluded that while there may have been professional mistakes during the operation, the use of force was justified. Video evidence shows flotilla members attacking and beating Israeli soldiers, and Israel has reported that soldiers were fired on and possibly taken hostage briefly by the crew.

Currently, Israel is holding a second inquiry into the incident led by retired Supreme Court Judge Yaakov Terkel. The U.N. has also begun its own inquiry.