Israeli Raid on Gaza Aid Flotilla Captured By YouTube


Yesterday, an Israeli raid against an aid flotilla attempting to break the blockade of Gaza left 10 dead and 30 wounded.

The UN is calling for an investigation into the raid, but meanwhile, public opinion on both sides is being shaped in part by YouTube (s GOOG), thanks to a video of the incident providing different perspectives of what actually happened.

The video below is currently tracking as one of the day’s most-viewed clips, with over 500,000 views in less than 24 hours. Created by the Israel Defense Force’s Spokesperson’s Unit, it provides an annotated overhead view of the main skirmish aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, which includes clear instances of soldiers being attacked. (This is not something you’d typically expect to see a military organization do.)

While the IDF attempts to prove that their actions were justified, Al Jazeera’s YouTube channel has footage from the aftermath of the attack from a journalist who was on board the Mavi Marmara. Reporter Jamal Eishayyal’s update includes repetition of the fact that despite a white flag being flown, live rounds were still being fired.

In contrast to this sobering scene, there’s the YouTube account LetsFreeGaza, which uploaded a clip of on-board violence from a BBC News report with the following description:

See how we attacked them as soon as they landed on deck!!!! Look closely, we decked one of them with a crowbar!!!

There’s no way for the complexities of this incident, political and humanitarian alike, to be summed up by YouTube clips. But it engages people in the debate in a very different way, when they’re actually able to see what happened.

Related GigaOm Pro Content (subscription required): Why Viacom’s Fight With YouTube Threatens Web Innovation (subscription required)

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