Israelis 'ignored flotilla's SOS signals': British activist

3rd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Israeli warships ignored distress signals from the flotilla of ships carrying aid to Gaza which were attacked by Israeli commandos, an activist said on her return to London Thursday.

Sarah Colborne, director of the organisation "Palestine Solidarity Campaign" who was on board the raided ship, told how the activists had tried to send a distress signal as Israeli ships closed in on them.

She explained they "were trying to broadcast messages that we were a humanitarian aid flotilla, that we were peaceful, that we had no weapons, that we were being threatened by the Israeli Navy in international waters and that we were calling on the international community to come to our aid."

But Colborne claimed Israel had blocked the satellite transmission "and so it was difficult to get the message out."

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said an Israeli lawmaker, Hanin Al Zoubi, who was part of the convoy, even transmitted this message in Hebrew to ensure that the soldiers understood what was being said, but to no avail.

Colborne said that once the Israeli commandos rappelled onto the Mavi Marmara ship, "it was like a horror movie".

"There was a massacre going on. There was live ammunition being shot and everywhere you were seeing dying," she said.

"It was just a horrific experience. We were forced up to the top deck where our hands were bound with cable ties. We were forced to either sit or kneel. We then ended up waiting in the hot sun.

"We did not have water. There was a woman on the top deck who was pregnant. There was a woman on the top deck who was also seriously ill, there was a man who, when I managed to get some water to him, looked like he had fainted."

She also claimed that the death toll of nine could rise because some activists were still missing.

© 2010 AFP

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