When Israel Defense Forces soldiers nine days ago overtook the "Estelle"
ship, which sought to breach Israel's naval blockade on Gaza, encountered a strange surprise. Between the crates containing toys and medications, they discovered a carrier pigeon.
According to IDF assessments, the pigeons carried digital tags, which were attached around their legs, containing photos of Israeli soldiers as they seized the ship. It is believed the photos were aimed for global media distribution.
Pro-Palestinian Israeli activist Yonatan Shapira, who was on board the ship, confirmed the IDF assessment, saying: "We tagged some of the carrier pigeons with digital memory cards containing photos showing IDF soldiers using taser guns.
"We must to be creative when fighting the battle over the public image," Shapira added.
Since the "Marmara"
ship incident, the IDF has learnt its lesson and every encounter with a Gaza-bound flotilla includes a special IDF spokesperson unit team recording the takeover.
"Everyone knows these flotillas are meant as a provocation only, therefore whoever publishes the photos first wins over the public opinion," says a senior IDF source.