Saturday, July 4, 2009
A former US lawmaker and a number of other human rights activists remain imprisoned in Israel three days after their failed attempt to break Israel’s Gaza blockade.
Tel Aviv has kept most of the peace activists, seized at sea by the Israeli navy, in custody without providing information on their release.
On Tuesday, Israeli authorities seized a ship carrying relief aid for the blockaded Gaza strip. The vessel was also carrying 21 pro-Palestinian international activists.
Irish Nobel peace prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney were among those aboard.
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The boat has been charged with “illegal entry” into Israel. Cynthia McKinney insists that the Spirit of Humanity, the Greek-flagged relief boat, was in international waters.
“We were in international waters on a boat delivering humanitarian aid to people in Gaza when the Israeli Navy ships surrounded us and illegally threatened us, dismantled our navigation equipment, boarded and confiscated the ship,” she said in a statement, adding that they were immediately taken into custody.
“Immigration officials in Israel said they did not want to keep us, but we remain imprisoned,” she said.
This article was posted: Saturday, July 4, 2009 at 3:52 am