Sunday, June 6, 2010

Freed activist to sue Israel

Nour Choudhury was on board the Gaza Freedom Flotilla
A recently-freed activist from Israeli custody insists on taking legal action against the Tel Aviv regime for the ordeal he has gone through on board the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla.

Nour Choudhury, one of the international activists detained by Israeli forces during an armed assault on an aid convoy destined for the besieged Gaza strip, said in an exclusive interview with Press TV that Israeli commandos assaulted the convoy during morning prayers and kept on shooting even after everyone stopped resisting.

"Once they started to come into the boat, they were firing rubber bullets and stun grenades," he said. "At the same time the helicopters were coming down. The helicopters were shooting at the civilians on board."

He emphasized that as the Israeli forces got on board, everybody stopped resisting and went to the cabin downstairs. "Even when we were cooperating with the Israelis," he said, "they still continued to fire at us and they killed a few more people."

"Once everybody was downstairs, the Israelis secured the boat. Then they took us out one by one and abused us by punching, slapping, kicking and pushing us around. They tied our hands with cable ties extremely tight and sent us upstairs to the top deck and made us sit underneath the Mediterranean sun with no shade for up to four hours."

Choudhury insisted that the Israelis attacked a civilian vessel but treated the occupants as combatants. "It was a terrifying ordeal," he said.

"Israelis came on-board to hurt and kill. I believe what Israel wanted to do was to make a show of us. They wanted to make an example for the world showing this is what will happen to anybody who wants to defy Israel. They didn't realize how badly they messed up. They had assumed that the world is blind to the brutality of Israeli forces."

Asked if he believed more aid ships heading to Gaza will reach the territory, he stressed that after what Israel did to the Freedom Flotilla, many activists are even more determined to deliver aid to the besieged people of Gaza.

He added that he will definitely get on board the next flotilla destined for Gaza to break the blockade.

The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea early on May 31, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the six ships and injuring about 50 other people.

The fate of three other Freedom Flotilla activists is still unknown.

Israel also arrested nearly 700 activists from 42 countries on board the Freedom Flotilla, which was attempting to break the siege of Gaza in order to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian assistance to the long-suffering people of the territory.

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