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On board the flotilla of the Free Gaza movement there were activists, government representatives, holocaust survivors and children from all over the world. They were on their way to Gaza with humanitarian aid, and were on international waters when they were attacked by Israel early this week. The attack left as a result 19 people murdered by Israeli forces.
Testimonies of what happened on the Turkish “Mavi Marmara” indicate that the Israeli forces shot directly to the heads of the passengers, and beat and electrocuted activists.
Among the 700 passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara, most of whom are still under arrest in Israel, was Israeli MP Hanin Zoabi, who later said at a press conference that the purpose of the Israeli forces was not to stop the ship, “but to cause the largest possible number of fatalities in order to stop such initiatives in the future”.
"Our goal was to break the siege”, said Zoabi, “We had no plans for a confrontation. Israel carried out a provocative military operation.”
Real World Radio interviewed Audrey Bomse, member of the Free Gaza movement, who is in Cyprus at the moment. The activist made reference to the hundreds of people who are still under arrest in Israel, and said that at least four Palestinian-Israeli citizens are facing charges for serious crimes, and are not allowed to speak to anyone except their lawyers.
“They are being held responsible for everything that happened on the boat”, said Bomse.
The activist also said: “There are people with Western passports, from the US, UK, France, Italy, Russia, Germany, who are refusing to leave unless they know that their Palestinian-Israeli brothers and sisters are also being released”, she said.
Bomse also made reference to the legal actions taken by “Free Gaza”, and said that Israel is refusing to give information on the names of the people who were murdered in the attack, or the names of the people hospitalized due to the beatings.
Finally, she talked about the response of the international community, and said that she heard nice declarations about what happened, but now she expected actions to make these declarations come true.
“If our governments finally take responsibility for stopping Israel´s illegal siege on Gaza, then we can stop risking our lives to break the blockade”, she concluded.
A two-and-a-half year process of work which resulted in a meeting with several thousand Brazilian peasants; “a process that didn´t start now, and that won´t end here”, said Itelvina Massioli, national leader of the peoples´ struggle for land, agrarian reform and food sovereignty, in interview with Real World Radio after the 6th Congress of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST).
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