Friday, July 23, 2010

Gaza Aid Flotilla Survivors to address Donegal PublicMeeting

Two Irishmen, Dr Fintan Lane and Fiachra O'Luain were among the many pro-Palestinian activists kidnapped by the Israeli military during their murderous assault on the Gaza aid Flotilla on May 31. 

Nine people were murdered and many more injured by Israeli forces when they stormed the Mavi Marmara ship and other boats on the freedom Flotilla in International waters, hijacked the boats and kidnapped the crew and activists who survived the attack. Many of those who were kidnapped were brutalised by their Israeli captors.

Both men, who were on board the Challenger 1, will be in Donegal Town this Saturday (July 24) to address a public meeting and relate their experience during the raid, their kidnapping and their subsequent ill-treatment at the hands of their Israeli captors.
The meeting will also have a discussion on the continuing illegal siege of Gaza, while Dr Lane, a member of the Free Gaza Movement and the IPSC (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign) will outline plans for the next flotilla that is to attempt to deliver much needed supplies to the besieged population of Gaza.

                                                                                       Fintan Lane             Fiachra O'Luain
Speaking immediately after their eventual release from Israeli custody at the beginning of June Fintan revealed some of the abuse and ill treatment they and other activists endured. He revealed how Fiachra was beaten up at the airport and had to be brought to hospital for tests.

He continued: “Ken O’Keefe, the Irish-American passenger, suffered a severe beating at the hands of security officials at Tel Aviv airport before boarding, and his injuries were so bad that he had to be hospitalised in Tel Aviv – the Israelis are claiming this delay in his repatriation is for ‘technical reasons’, yet another Israeli lie.”

In relation to the actual hi-jacking of their boat Fintan said: “When they boarded our boat, we resisted entirely peacefully. I sat on the floor and tried to reason with them, but the Israeli commandos physically attacked us. Fiachra was dragged around the ground and I had a gun pointed in my face by a screaming commando. His mania was so intense that I genuinely feared for my life. Others received beatings.”

He added: “When they finally took over our ship, and forced us to dock in Ashdod, we refused to disembark. We sat down, linked arms and said that we had been illegally kidnapped and brought against our will to Israel. We were all forcibly removed from the boat and brought to interrogation rooms in the port. At this point, I refused to hand over my passport, restating my position that I would not cooperate with my illegal detention and was under no obligation to do so. I was then physically assaulted, my arms were painfully twisted behind my back for prolonged periods and my passport taken.”

In the wake of the murderous Israeli attack and subsequent kidnapping of Irish citizens, the Taoiseach Brian Cowen warned that Israel would face serious consequences” if any Irish citizens were injured. True to form, despite the overwhelming evidence of ill treatment and brutality meted out to those illegally detained, including both Fintan and Fiachra, the 26 county government have shamefully refused to take any action whatsoever against the zionist regime.
The meeting which has been organised by the North West Solidarity Network takes place on Saturday July 24 in the Central Hotel at 3pm.  All welcome.  For more information phone 087 9730539

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