On September 27 the United Nations issued its report on the Israeli attack on the "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" last May. Halfway through the report we can find details of the death of nineteen year-old Furkan Dogan, a young activist who held both Turkish and US passports. The evidence shows that he was summarily executed - shot in the back at point blank range while lying immobilized on the ship's deck.
Regarding the attack as a whole, the report concludes among other things:
264. The conduct of the Israeli military and other personnel towards the flotilla passengers was not only disproportionate to the occasion but demonstrated levels of totally unnecessary and incredible violence. It betrayed an unacceptable level of brutality. Such conduct cannot be justified or condoned on security or any other grounds. It constituted a grave violation of human rights law and international humanitarian law.
265. The Mission considers that several violations and offences have been committed. It is not satisfied that, in the time available, it has been able to compile a comprehensive list of all offences. However, there is clear evidence to support prosecutions of the following crimes within the terms of article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention:
• Wilful killing;
• Torture or inhuman treatment;
• Wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health.
For its part, the US State Department is saying that the report's "tone and conclusions are unbalanced."
Both the Huffington Post's Gareth Porter and Salon's Glenn Greenwald have already filed detailed articles on the findings this morning, so for my blog I will simply post the relative section on Dogan's death contained on page 29 and urge my readers to check out the full report, along with Porter's and Greenwald's articles.
Was Dogan's death justified? Was Israel's response to the Gaza flotilla appropriate? Is the killing in cold blood of a US citizen (not to mention the other eight activists killed in the assault) by Israeli forces an action that demands consequences from the Israeli government? Please read the report and the articles before jumping to your own conclusions.
From the Report of the international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, resulting from the Israeli attacks on the flotilla of ships carrying humanitarian assistance
"Furkan Dogan, a 19-year-old with dual Turkish and United States citizenship, was on the central area of the top deck filming with a small video camera when he was first hit with live fire. It appears that he was lying on the deck in a conscious, or semi-conscious, state for some time. In total Furkan received five bullet wounds, to the face, head, back thorax, left leg and foot. All of the entry wounds were on the back of his body, except for the face wound which entered to the right of his nose. According to forensic analysis, tattooing around the wound in his face indicates that the shot was delivered at point blank range. Furthermore, the trajectory of the wound, from bottom to top, together with a vital abrasion to the left shoulder that could be consistent with the bullet exit point, is compatible with the shot being received while he was lying on the ground on his back. The other wounds were not the result of firing in contact, near contact or close range, but it is not otherwise possible to determine the exact firing range. The wounds to the leg and foot were most likely received in a standing position."