I think that any other armed force would have started shooting a long time before, and not stopped as soon.
While intercepting the Mavi Marmara ship, 7 soldiers were injured and 9 flotilla participants were killed. Upon boarding the ship the soldiers were attacked by the masses with knives, clubs, and live fire, and were forced to return fire. The other ships cooperated with security forces.Such ridiculous claims would never be believed... unless they had the video. They do. Freeze Frame at 52 seconds.
Two soldiers were injured from the gunfire and an additional soldier suffered wounds after being stabbed by a knife. In total, seven Naval soldiers were injured. Four of these soldiers are currently categorized as in moderate condition, one is lightly injured, and two have been released from the hospital. Nine of the flotilla participants who were on board the Mavi Marmara ship were killed.
As a result of this life-threatening and violent activity, the naval soldiers who were equipped with paintball guns in order to avoid using live fire, were forced to change their original plans, using first their riot dispersal means, followed by live fire.
It's a great way of marking indelibly those committing violence, for later prosecution. It's also scary, because they look a bit like real weapons. It also means that should casualties have their weapons stolen, little harm will be done - which is why the IDF marines who were shot only had pistol wounds, not wounds from high-calibre weapons.
And here's what they were facing. Axes. Firebombs. Gasmasks. Grenades. Knives. This was a propaganda battle, and both sides were well prepared for that.
More that doesn't fit the MSM lede
The official IDF line though is consistent with the video feed:
One of the Naval Special Forces soldiers, who participated in the interception of the Mavi Marama ship and sustained a broken arm while under attack by the ship’s passengers, described the events. “Each soldier who descended was taken by three or four men and they simply exploded, beating him up. They lynched us. They had metal clubs, knives, slingshots, glass bottles…At one point there was also live fire.
“I was among the last to descend, and I saw that the group was dispersed, everyone in his own corner surrounded by 3 or 4 men, I saw a soldier on the floor with two men beating him. I peeled them off of him and they came at me and began beating me with the clubs. That’s how I broke my arm. At that moment I had no weapon in my hands, like everyone else who descended on the cables empty-handed. My paintball gun was behind me.
“They came and attacked me, I brought them down to the floor, I took a few steps back, I took out my paintball gun, they came at me, and I shot at their legs. One of the clubs destroyed my paint gun and I moved on to my pistol which was the only thing to hold against them. At this point my arm no longer functioned.”
“From the opening of the corridor, they were shooting at us the entire time with live fire”
The naval soldier described how the soldiers were shot at from the entrance to the ship’s corridor: “I saw two from my group lying flat on the ground. From the opening of the corridor they were shooting at them the entire time with live fire, bullets. We identified a gun barrel, and one of us shot at the guy holding it. Afterwards we entered and he wasn’t there. About 30 men, they simply came for war. We came to straighten things out, to speak to those who went downstairs, but each of us who descended was simply attacked.”
“There were some from my group that were thrown to the lower floor, and the passengers took their equipment. They jumped to the water as a last resort. We were told that if they didn’t listen, we should shoot at their legs with the paintball gun. 'The pistol is only for if you really feel your life is in danger, which shouldn’t happen. It would be extremely abnormal.' But in the end, that is what happened.”
“We came with the intention of stopping the ship and taking it to Ashdod, and we did not come with the weapons we usually have, we came for something entirely different.”