The film, produced by the Eiland Team of Experts, breaks down the events of the flotilla using a timeline that alternates between 3D models and footage captured throughout the incident.
The events leading up to and throughout the flotilla incident are recounted in the video, as presented by the team of experts led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland in the IDF’s internal inquiry.
In light of weapons smuggling attempts, a maritime closure was established during the 2008-2009 Gaza Operation. Under the guise of providing humanitarian aid, a number of ships have attempted to reach the Gaza Strip, some permitted to enter, while others were stopped.
Due to these attempts, the IDF General Staff and Navy outlined orders to prepare for future attempts to break the closure, and in preparing for the May 31st flotilla, the IDF planned far in advance with extended discussion, and various simulation model scenarios. IDF attaches abroad and foreign attaches to Israel were all briefed in advance.
In addition, the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi sent a letter to the Defense Minister and Prime Minister emphasizing the following:
“Cooperation between nation ministries is required and the military option which includes seizing, confiscating and detaining the ship’s activists is a last resort and at a low priority.”
The video goes on to describe the various ships in the flotilla and the courses of their attempted journey to the Gaza Strip, as well as the number and extent of Israeli response ships, aircraft, and absorption center for the ships’ passengers.
The video also outlines the orders given to the IDF soldiers boarding the flotilla ships, including the policy of using gradual force, and using live weapons only in life threatening scenarios.
The first phase of the operation: The IDF relayed the message that the flotilla ships were in an area of a maritime closure, and offered the ships to transfer their cargo from the Ashdod Port to the Gaza Strip. The Sofia ship did not respond at all, while the other ships responded with refusal and/or profanity.
The IDF forces were divided and each group boarded a different ship. The soldiers arrived at the Mavi Marmara at 4:28 AM, but could not board the ship due to metal objects being thrown at them, and electric buzz saws used by the demonstrators to slice the ladders IDF soldiers needed to board the Marmara. After an unsuccessful attempt to board the ship by smaller boats, a helicopter arrived at 4:30 AM with 15 IDF soldiers. The first rope dropped by the helicopters was tied by the demonstrators to the deck of the ship in order to prevent the soldiers’ descent.