More than 100 people attended a public meeting in Belfast on Thursday night [July 8] to hear first hand accounts of the recent deadly Israeli raid on the international aid flotilla bound for the besieged Gaza Strip. Donegal man Fiachra Ó Luain, who was on board the Challenger 1 ship, gave an account of the lead up to the assault and the surviving activists’ ensuing captivity and eventual deportation.
Ken O’Keefe, a former US Marine who subsequently renounced his US citizenship and who now holds joint Irish-Palestinian nationality, gave an account of his experiences on board the Marvi Marmara, the ship on which nine activists were murdered by Israeli commandos. O’Keefe, who disarmed two of the commandos who boarded the ship, also stressed the importance of pressing on with the campaign to break the blockade.
Following their accounts, a lively question and answer session was held, before a fundraising session kicked off with folk singers Barry Kerr and Pól MacAdaim.