Written By: Majid al-Kibsi
Article Date: Jun 7, 2010 – 11:30:40 AM
Thousands of Yemenis gathered on Saturday evening June 5th, in the Apollo exhibition hall to hear the testimony of the lawmakers who have been released from the custody of the Israeli army.
The three parliaments disclosed all the details of their journey from departing Turkey, until returning to Jordan and Turkey.
“We were amazed by the sentimental goodbye of the Turks, youth, Elders and women were at the harbor to bid farewell for our flotilla,”
said Haza’a al-Maswari, one of the three lawmakers. And about their journey in sea, Mohammed al-Hazmi assured that the atmosphere was so spiritual, and it was indescribable.
“We spent our time in reading Quran or reciting hymns, we were like one family, even the Bishop who was with us. It was a life time journey,”
said al-Hazmi, one of the Yemeni lawmakers.
We were expecting an attack from Israeli warship about 1 o’clock after midnight, said the captain.
“So we were expecting that night that we will be attacked and we went on standby,”
said Abdul-Khaliq Bin Shihon, the third member.
We have waited up till the dawn, but there was nothing, so we took shifts in praying the dawn while some of us are on standby.
Then we have been attacked by smoke and sound bombs of the Israeli army boats, and they started shooting rubber bullets,”
Bin Shihon continued telling what happened.
“We saw the helicopter above us and the commandos are coming down by ropes, we engaged with them and disarmed them, the Turks were so brave and strong,”
After apprehending four of these commandos, the Turks led them downstairs.
”We demanded to negotiate with them, if they let us continue our journey to Gaza we will give back the hostages, but the replay was live ammunition firing, and in a few seconds about ten were killed,” adding, “We saw the Turkish flag onboard that night, the blood of the martyrs covered the deck, and the moon reflection made the crescent.”
According to Bin Shihon, the Israeli commandos pointed the gun over the head of the captain’s one-year 4-month old baby, and ordered him to stop the ship. “The Turks were on the Bow of the ships, and the Arabs were onboard. And when he asked the captain about the reason of this locating the captain answered:”if the Turks were harmed, their government will respond strongly, but if one if you Arabs was hurt, you are a matter of concern,” continued Bin Shihon.
After seizing the ship, everybody was led to the deck, and the Israelis broke the cameras, and disconnected the communication cabinet. “We were searched humility, and after that we were tied our hands to the back. Either women, elders or youth,” said al-Maswari. They were held on deck for hours, and after that they were crammed inside a cabinet inside the ship. “We were left there for 18 hours without food, drink or bathroom,” said al-Maswari.
“When we arrived to Port of Ashdod we were led one by one to the tents of investigation, when I went inside the room of investigation I was asked who was by a Yemeni translator. I answered, ‘I am Yemeni’,” said al-Maswari According to al-Maswari, the translator informed him of his accusations. “You are accused of Illegal immigration to Israel,” said the translator. “I replied, “We were abducted. You abducted us from international waters.”
After the investigation, they were given papers to sign on the confessions. “We refused to sign these papers, for this would acknowledge the state of Israel.” They were sent through the Naqab Desert to a jail in Beer Shiva. “In the jail, the embassies came demanding their citizens, and I thought no one is coming for me until someone from the Jordanian embassy came and demanded the Arabs with no representation in Israel,” said al-Maswari.
And with the statement of Turkey, al-Hazmi was also transported to Turkey, and then he met with his fellows in Jordan before coming back to Yemen.
The audience was so enthusiastic and repeatedly shouted slogans like “Viva Ardoghan” or “Salute the Martyrs”. Also attending this event were many figures, like Sheikh Sadiq Abdullah Bin Hussain al-Ahmer, Abdul-Majeed al-Zindani, and Dr. Wajdi Ghonaim the Islamic cleric.