Squeak (maclyn) wrote in ontd_political,

Anxious wait for aid ship families

Families of Scots on board a flotilla which was attacked as it attempted to deliver aid to Gaza have spoken of their anxious wait to hear from loved ones.

The boats, which were carrying 10,000 tonnes of supplies to Gaza, were in international waters when Israeli commandos boarded early on Monday.

Israeli officials said the death toll from the incident was nine, but some reports put it as high as 19.

Israel insisted its forces retaliated against an attack by people on board the aid flotilla, who it said were armed with weapons including knives and guns. However, activists have said the commandos were shooting as they boarded.

The Foreign Office said several British nationals had been detained by Israeli authorities following the incident. It is believed that as many as 28 people from the UK were taking part in the aid effort when it came under fire - with several people from Scotland on board boats in the flotilla.

Dr Khalid El-Awaisi said he was worried that his brother Ali, from Dundee, may have been injured.

He has heard "nothing at all" from his brother. He said: "We're still waiting and very anxious about what is happening. We're just worried he might have been injured somehow."

Winnie Chambers is also waiting for contact from her sister, Theresa McDermott, from Edinburgh. She too said she had heard "nothing" following the attack on the flotilla.

"The normal thing that happens is all communications are jammed and any communication devices are removed from the passengers," Ms Chambers said. "We just cross our fingers and hope, speak to as many influential people as possible, MPs and MSPs, the Foreign Office, and desperately ask for help."

Ms McDermott, 43, a postal worker, was on board one of the ships in the flotilla as part of her work with Free Gaza Scotland, a group she helped set up last year with fellow activist Carl Abernethy. Campaigners in the Edinburgh-based organisation had collected items to be sent to Gaza, such as medical supplies and crutches, as well as sports equipment, crayons and paint for children.

© Press Association 2010

Source: http://breakingnews.heraldscotland.com/breaking-news/?mode=article&site=hs&id=N0030941275383030805A

As well as Ali and Theresa, families are still awaiting word from documentary maker and journalist Hassan Ghani, 24, and Hasan Nowarah. They are both from Glasgow. I hope all four of them are ok.

PS. Crayons and paint?! TERRORISTS!
Tags: israel, jewish people, palestine

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