Friday, June 04, 2010

Ismail Patel back from Gaza Freedom Flotilla

SOURCE: Friends of Al Aqsa, 4th June 2010

Press Conference Report
4th June 2010

Ismail Patel arrived back in the UK today after being confined by Israel for 4 days when it attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and arrested all the peace activists on board.

Following an emotional reunion with his family at 10.30am in Heathrow airport this morning, Ismail then attended a press conference in Westminster. He told the media packed room about his horrifying experience on the Gaza Flotilla when it was attacked by heavily armed and masked Israeli forces.

Ismail reiterated what other eyewitness accounts reflected, that Israeli forces attacked the Flotilla with stun grenades, smoke bombs and sound bombs BEFORE paratroopers landed on the ship. He also stated that there was shooting of live rounds from the helicopter that hovered overhead. This account, backed up by fellow activists, completely discredits the Israeli account that its forces were attacked first.

He further stated that a white flag was raised by the MV Mavi Marmara after the first death, and despite this, shooting continued.

Ismail described the horrific account of seeing his comrades killed, at least 3 of whom were shot in the face, one of whom was shot 4 times in the face. Another of the fatalities resulted from a failure of Israeli forces to bring medical attention to an injured activist. With the number of people who were killed and injured, Ismail states that ‘one person was shot every minute’.

He was joined at the Press conference by fellow peace activist Alex Harrison and international lawyer Daniel Machover. Daniel went into some detail to set out why the attack on the Freedom Flotilla by Israel was illegal despite Israeli rebuttals.