The Israeli Version

Here's what YNet is reporting:

The forces hurled stun grenades, yet the rioters on the top deck, whose number swelled up to 30 by that time, kept on beating up about 30 commandos who kept gliding their way one by one from the helicopter. At one point, the attackers nabbed one commando, wrested away his handgun, and threw him down from the top deck to the lower deck, 30 feet below. The soldier sustained a serious head wound and lost his consciousness. Only after this injury did Flotilla 13 troops ask for permission to use live fire.

The commander approved it: You can go ahead and fire. The soldiers pulled out their handguns and started shooting at the rioters’ legs, a move that ultimately neutralized them. Meanwhile, the rioters started to fire back at the commandos. ...

It appears that the error in planning the operation was the estimate that passengers were indeed political activists and members of humanitarian groups who seek a political provocation, but would not resort to brutal violence. The soldiers thought they will encounter Bilin-style violence; instead, they got Bangkok. The forces that disembarked from the helicopters were few; just dozens of troops – not enough to contend with the large group awaiting them.

So 30 activists managed to beat up 30 armed commandos! Here's also a lovely linguistic touch: "rioters." Rioters? These were people on their own boat in international waters, resisting a military attack. That makes them rioters? In that word alone, you get a glimpse into the Israeli mindset.

And remember that it is not Gaza that is besieged; it's Israel. Try repeating that to yourself as long as it takes for you to become a columnist for the Washington Post.