Charity to sue Israel in Britain over flotilla raid

15th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A UK-registered charity said on Tuesday it was planning legal action in Britain on behalf of activists who were detained by Israel after a deadly raid on their Gaza-bound aid flotilla last month.

Mary Nazzal-Batayneh, president of the Palestine Legal Aid Fund (PLAF), told AFP her group would represent those passengers "wishing to assert their rights through legal action against Israel."

The Jordanian lawyer of Palestinian origin said six internationally renowned lawyers have already joined the fund's legal team.

The team "will launch a court case in the name of the hundreds of activists illegally abducted and imprisonned, many of whom were beaten and wounded and nearly all their belongings confiscated," as well as for the families of the Turkish activists killed, she said.

"A trial should be held in Britain based on the British legal system. It could be transferred if necessary," Batayneh added, without giving further details.

The May 31 raid by Israeli naval commandos on a six-ship aid flotilla, which carried about 600 passengers, killed nine Turkish activists, triggering global outrage and calls for an international investigation.

The PLAF, established in 2009 after Israel's devastating 22-day assault on the Gaza Strip, says it is launching a fund-raising campaign this month to support legal action on behalf of the activists attacked on the so-called Freedom Flotilla.

Batayneh said last month, prior to the raid, that the group was preparing to take legal action in the summer of 2010, focusing on high-profile individuals, corporations and organisations she believes can be shown responsible for violating the human rights of Palestinians.

© 2010 AFP

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