Estelle, before the pirate attack

Smuggled footage from the deck of the humanitarian aid vessel Estelle shows what happened right before the Israeli military forced the ship (illegally!) out of international waters and into the Israeli port of Ashdod, diverting it from its mission to Gaza. As you can see, they look very thuggy and strangely unsure of themselves. (They don’t have much to say; a man on board the Estelle is doing all the talking.) The freedom sailors on the boat, however, aren’t wearing masks, and have nothing to hide; their potted olive trees and peace doves, symbolic gifts for the people of Gaza, are in plain sight.

Meanwhile, Jim Manly is expected home sometime tomorrow, and it’s likely his tale will be a harrowing one. It is already known that the Israeli army beat and abused the Estelle’s crew members, and it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that they targeted certain passengers for special attention too. (If you don’t believe me, read Midnight on the Mavi Marmara. It will tell you all you need to know about the Israeli armed forces’ oh-so-humanitarian motivations and methods.)

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