They are tired and dazed, but relieved to be home.
- The last two hours last night, I was worried that they would leave me alone. Police in Israel showed such hatred towards me, “says the artist Dror Feiler.
Today at 16.20 landed the last seven Swedes from using the convoy In Gaza. They flew to Istanbul late in the night with over 500 activists who had been detained in Beer Sheva Elafängelset in southern Israel.
Taking on board the aircraft was Dror Feiler, Matthias Gardell, Edda Manga, Amil Sarsour, Kimberly Soto Aguayo, Saman Ali and Henry Ascher.
They hug each other again and again. Browsing in newspapers from around the world to know what has been written about their relief work.
Friends for life
- We knew each other before in this. Now, what we have been friends throughout their lives, “says Amil Sarsour.
Finally the plane came into Dror Feiler and Henry Ascher. All seven of the champagne toast and orange juice to celebrate that they are now free.
Their passports were stolen from them at the prison in Beer Sheva, says they.
- I got confirmation that they took my passport in prison. But before I could fly from Tel Aviv, they forced me to sign a paper certifying that the passport disappeared. Given what the Israelis did before with stolen passports, it feels unpleasant, “says pediatrician Henry Ascher.
Dror Feiler has always been kept isolated from the rest of the Swedes. He says that the soldiers pointed him out as soon as they got on the ship.
- They harassed me and took my film camera. When I wanted a receipt, they said to me that I had no rights. They pushed me down on the floor and let me sleep with her arms tied and face down at the floor, “he says.
Emptied his pockets
The tents in the Ashdod port in which vessels were in the country but Dror Feiler take off all clothes and jewelry. They emptied his pockets of everything, “he says.
- They did a full body search with all that implies, and then they interrogated me for hours. They had all my phone numbers and to my wife.
When he came to Elafängelset he was put in solitary confinement for 48 hours. He pleaded to see his lawyer Gaby Lasky.
- I am threatened with hunger, but I did not see her anyway. In one days I ate nothing.
When all detained activists were flown home last night it seemed that long to Dror Feiler would not get along. He was taken away and was finally on the last plane has left Israel.
- They seem to have such a hatred of us. When I saw the policemen and guards in the passport control treated us, I was terrified. They are brainwashed.
The Swedes said they first received a document in which they would write that they have illegally into Israel, was later revised the wording in the documents.
At half past five in the morning, after the Turkish planes landed at Istanbul’s airport, the Swedes were entitled to a medical center in conjunction with the more than 500 activists who were flown to Turkey after they had been imprisoned in Elafängelset in southern Israel. Outside thousands of people met them with cheers and flowers.
- It was great to meet people’s support. We woke up in jail and less than one day later, people throwing flowers for us in Turkey. It is unlikely, “says Henry Ascher.
All that came with the Turkish plan of Tel Aviv had their injuries documented and they could retrieve their luggage. But not all Swedes say they have lost the very personal possessions.
Apart from two sessions of all electronic devices such as cell phones, cameras and computers away.
- It is the systematic theft, “says Dror Feiler.
On the plane home was also tired. The Swedish activists have tried to get some sleep before it’s time to meet with relatives.
- In prison, we never sleep more than one and a half hours at a time, “says Mattias Gardell.
Peace activist Mattias Gardell will start a legal process against the State of Israel for the fatal shootings at the convoy In Gaza. Han anser att aktivisterna hade rätt att försvara sig mot det militära angreppet och avvisar alla påståenden om att vapen använts mot soldaterna. He believes that activists had a right to defend itself against military attack and rejects claims that the weapons used against soldiers.
Mattias Gardell and another six peace activists from the Ship to Gaza, arrived at Heathrow just after four on Thursday.
Parts of the arrivals hall had been blocked off to relatives and sympathizers would be able to welcome them. Many had flowers and banners with them. When the seven came they were met with hugs and kisses. After breaking all barriers and the arrival hall was transformed into a political demonstration in which many shouted “Long live Palestine.”
Mattias Gardell, professor of religious history at Uppsala University and one of the initiators of the convoy In Gaza, was very upset about the treatment peace activists have been subjected. He accused the Israeli army for having “killed” nine persons.
- They used an extremely violent as directly contrary to international law. We will notify police Israelis kidnapping, theft and assault. We will also start a process at the International Court in The HagueWe want an independent investigation into what happened, “
Mattias Gardell was on the Turkish flagged ship in which nine people were killed by Israeli soldiers. He confirmed that peace activists defended themselves with sticks and other weapons when the commandos tried to board the ship.
– It began shooting and throwing on board various types of light and smoke grenades to scare us.The first statement, the attempt failed by spraying with powerful water hoses on the soldiers from the boat. Then they changed tactics and came with helicopters from the air,”
Activists managed to take away from some soldiers their weapons.
- The discarded and not used against soldiers who the Israelis claim, “
says Mattias Gardell.
But you took to violence was ten Ship Gaza would be a peace mission, is not it a problem?
- We came in peace with no arms and was attacked in international waters. Then it is clear that we have the right to defend ourselves.The Israeli military had weapons, warships and munitions. Not us. Our load and it has been on board were well documented before we left port. One would have to make do with checking the ship, “
says Mattias Gardell.
He himself was not a witness to the boarding but saw parts of what was going through cameras from a media center on the boat and he saw the dead and injured afterwards.
Amil Sarsour who heads Uppsala Palestinian groups came from what happened next to a smaller ship, which also took place.
- It felt such a sense of powerlessness. Two boats with 33 soldiers took over our ship, which had 45 people. Some tried to protect the captain but he was put down with rifle butts. We were peaceful and came up with cement and wheelchairs in the hold, “
Some believe that your support will strengthen Hamas in Gaza and that there were Hamas supporters in the boats?
- It is said that Hamas is Hamas is here and there. It’s just nonsense. On our boat there were people from many countries. Three of them were American Jews, “
says Amil Sarsour who is willing to try to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip again if the opportunity offered.
Right now he thinks that it is good to be home again. But he secures the nine who lost their lives and hope that their deaths should not be in vain.
Mattias Gardell believe that the action put the focus on the blockade.
– It is politically created, and requires a political solution. Anyone who respects international law must recognize it, “
Av: Lennart Lindström firstname.lastname@example.org