Witnesses deny that any of aid protesters were armed

By Diana Sweet
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 9:21 EDT
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BERLIN — Three visibly shaken Germans, who experienced a deadly raid by the Israeli military on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza, denied on Tuesday that anyone on board was armed, according to the news wire service AFP.

“The Israeli government justifies the raid because they were attacked. This is absolutely not the case,” former member of parliament Norman Paech, 72, wrapped in a blue blanket, told reporters in Berlin.

“This was not an act of self-defence.”

His comments were backed up by two others on board the convoy when it was raided at dawn on Monday in international waters, MPs Inge Hoeger, 59, and Annette Groth, 56.

“We felt like we were in a war, like we were being kidnapped,” Hoeger said.

“We wanted to bring aid to Gaza. Nobody had a weapon.”

Moreover, the Arab network Al Jazeera has released video of the event, which appears to show that Israel fired on the ship before storming it.

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