At the time, the organizers of the flotilla insisted they did not have so much as pocket knives on board the ship. They later changed their version claiming that knives were the only weapons the activists carried.
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Photos recently obtained by the Navy show a weapon hanging off the shoulder of one of the IHH members. Another photo shows a gun. It is as yet unclear who took the photos. One of the images allegedly shows MK Hanin Zoabi, who took part in the flotilla, standing next to an armed activist.
Navy commandos who took part in the raid later testified that the IHH men had at least two firearms and at least one of them was used to fire at the soldiers immediately after they descended on the ship. One of the commandos was hurt by a 9 mm bullet not used by the IDF.
Navy sources could not explain why the photos have only recently been received.
"One photo of activists carrying firearms is worth a 100 combatants' testimonies," a military source said. "It's a PR asset of the first order."
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in response: "These are looted materials under inspection. Once the operational and intelligence examinations are completed, the army will decide whether to publish them."
MK Zoabi said: "I will only be able to respond once I have seen the picture. I did not see any armed person standing next to me and similar claims in the past have turned out to be false."
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