Dublin (SaebPress)… Irish Ship to Gaza Coordinator Dr Fintan Lane was able to make a phone call Sunday 6th Nov afternoon from the ‘Israeli’ prison in which he and 13 other Irish citizens are being held. He communicated the following to the Irish Ship to Gaza team in Dublin:
‘’The takeover of the MV Saoirse was violent and dangerous. Despite very clear protests from the occupants of the two boats that they did not want to be taken to Israel, they were forcibly removed from the boats in a violent manner. The whole takeover took about three hours. It began with Israeli forces hosing down the boats with high pressure hoses and pointing guns at the passengers through the windows. I was hosed down the stairs of the boat. Windows were smashed and the bridge of the boat nearly caught fire. The boats were corralled to such an extent that the two boats, the Saoirse and the Tahrir, collided with each other and were damaged, with most of the damage happening to the MV Saoirse. The boats nearly sank. The method used in the takeover was dangerous to human life. The Israeli forces initially wanted to leave the boats at sea, but the abductees demanded that they not be left to float at sea, for they would have been lost and possibly sunk. All belongings of the passengers and crew were taken from them and they still do not know if and what they will get back. The 14 Irish citizens remain in Givon prison.’’
The phone call was very rushed and ended abruptly with Fintan saying, “I have to go.”
Claudia Saba, spokesperson for Irish Ship to Gaza, who received the call from Lane, said: “The account received from Fintan Lane flatly contradicts the Israeli narrative that Israel ‘took every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of the activists on board the vessels’. It is a small miracle that no one was seriously injured during this obviously very violent boarding of the Freedom Waves boats.”
Irish Ship to Gaza spokesperson Laurence Davis added: “This account confirms our fear that the hijacking of the boats was very violent, and explains the time lag between the point at which we lost contact with the boats on Wednesday at 11:12 am (Irish time) and news of the passengers’ arrival at Ashdod not before 5pm.”
In an interview he gave to www.Omniatv.com, Greek captain of the Tahrir Giorgos Klontzas has confirmed the use of violence on him by Israeli soldiers during his interrogation.
Freedom Wave Activists beaten
The last direct contact that Palestine Aid Received from Trevor Hogan their delegate (aboard the Irish boat Saoirse) is this text message, received at 10:08 PM Nov 3, 2011 Palestinian time “Kidnapped, being held against our will by Israeli Army in international waters. Boat nearly destroyed. Need government to press for immediate release.” Trevor then called girlfriend moments later and said, “Did you get the text? Send it out.” Then the phone line went dead.
Majd Kayal, delegate aboard the captured Canada Boat to Gaza and recently released from Givon Prison, confirms the ‘IDF’s’ “peaceful” take-over of the Tahrir was anything but peaceful. An ‘IDF’ video clearly shows the ‘Israeli’ military firing a water cannon at the Tahrir on rough seas, endangering the lives of those aboard. Delegates offering non-violent resistance to the takeover of the civilian ship in international waters were threatened and then beatenby soldiers.
One delegate, 45-year-old David Heap, professor at the University of Western Ontario, was particularly badly beaten. ‘Israeli’ prison authorities are continuing to prevent Heap’s family from contacting him by phone.
“As a Palestinian, I was not surprised at how the IDF treated us,” said Kayal, after his release, noting this kind of abuse is a daily reality for the 1.5 million people of Gaza, who are indefinitely detained in an open-air prison. “However, for the Canadians and other Westerners onboard, it was a complete shock.”