At 4:10 am, messages from the ship, Define stated, "Mavi Marmara, all of the boats and ships are approaching you." Shortly after, when most of the participants were performing their morning prayers, pursuit boats carring masked, armed soldiers came alongside the boats. At least 10 Israeli soldiers were in every boat. As they tried to get onboard, they began shooting. Then we heard sounds that were similar to gas bombs. The third sound was the constant sound of machine gun fire. At the same time, military helicpters full of armed soldiers rappeled down, shooting as they descended.
This operation was hostile from the very beginning, directed towards killing and killing as many as possible. Israeli soldiers did not open fire on the ships as a warning. They opened fire to kill. The first two people on board were shot in the head, killing them instantly.