Sunday, June 13, 2010

Israel looted Flotilla, activists say

Gaza Freedom Flotilla activists say they were robbed of their cash and equipment by the Israeli military after their ships came under a deadly attack on May 31.

According to Gaza flotilla survivors speaking to Press TV, activists on board the aid convoy were robbed of an estimated 3.5 million dollars in cash and equipment by Israeli commandos.

Hundreds of the campaigners have reported missing cash, laptops, phones and clothes after being released by Israel last week.

The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, killing at least 20 peace activists including nine Turkish citizens onboard the M.V. Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.

Israel also arrested and later released nearly 700 activists from 42 countries who were on board the aid ships, attempting to break the siege of Gaza and deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian assistance to the long-suffering people of the impoverished territory.

"We had cameras and mobile phones taken off during the first process on the ship when they were moving us out of the salons and they took anything that was on you in terms of technology," Alex Philips, a Gaza flotilla survivor, told Press TV.

It is estimated that 600 mobile phones, 400 video cameras and 350 laptops still remain in the hands of the Israeli military.

Most of the passengers were also carrying large amounts of cash on them from months of fundraising. The money was intended for charities in the Gaza Strip.

"Over 3,500 [dollars] of my cash and my drivers' license [was taken]. They took my card which was my permit to work in Saudi Arabia as a teacher. They took my laptop … they also took many items of clothing," Bllat Abdul Aziz, another survivor, told Press TV. 


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