1. During and after the voyage of the flotilla, the activists on board the Mavi Marmara publicly expressed their readiness to die on board the ship at shaheeds (martyrs for the sake of Allah). Their statements provided additional proof that some of the passengers, especially the hard core of IHH operatives, had prepared for a violent confrontation with the IDF forces (one operative described it as preparing for battle). Alongside the practical preparations, which included organizing the operatives and getting weapons ready, the passengers also received religious and moral indoctrination from Muslim activists and clerics, among them the Arab-Israeli sheikh Ra’ed Salah.
2. In the visual material photographed during and after the voyage of the flotilla a number of operatives confirm their desire to die as shaheeds. It is possible that some of such statements were boasts, rhetoric not necessarily meant to be acted on. However, in some cases, the statements apparently reflect a real intention to become shaheeds and some of the activists even said goodbye to their families [forever].
3. A video of interview of passengers can be accessed by clicking the link:
A. Shaza Barakat, one of the women passengers about the Mavi Marmara, interviewed by Al-Jazeera TV two days before the takeover of the ship, said "Two good things will happen: either we’ll die as martyrs or we’ll reach Gaza” (Al-Jazeera TV, May 29, 2010).
B. One of the passengers interviewed during the voyage (possibly by Iranian TV) said he wanted to die as a shaheed. He said he had participated in two previous convoys and wanted to be a shaheed and twice he had been "unlucky.” He was not, he said, afraid of [the Israeli] cartridges (Photographed aboard the Mavi Marmara).
C. Hussein Urush, a senior IHH member and one of the organizers of the flotilla, interviewed by Al-Jazeera TV a few days after the takeover that all the passengers were prepared to die as martyrs and that the goal of the flotilla was to reach Gaza or die trying (Al-Jazeera TV, June 5, 2010).
4. We have additional statements, including correspondents’ interviews. For example, a friend of Ali Haydar Bengi, a 29-year old Turkish man killed on the ship, said that Ali wanted to "die as a shaheed.” His wife said that for years he had prayed to Allah to let him die as a martyr.