Algerian activist gives chilling account of atrocities

Dubai/Cairo: According to a report in The Guardian, an Algerian activist,

who gave her name as Sabrina, revealed that Israeli troops pointed their gun

at a one-year-old Turkish child in front of his parents to force the captain

of the Mavi Marmara to stop sailing.   Many reports have emerged from among

the 124 activists who crossed over into Amman, Jordan, yesterday.

In an interview with Sky News, IT professional Hasan Nowarah, from Glasgow,

described the moments as the Israeli troops descended on the ship.

“All you could see was screaming and bullets. Out of the blue as I looked

around our ship, all I could see were hundreds of Zodiacs. Hundreds of

Zodiacs full of soldiers, and big ships, lots of ships, and I believe as

well submarines in the sea.”


Kuwaiti MP Walid Al Tabtabai said the Israelis were “brutal and arrogant”.

“Israelis roughed up and humiliated all of us, women, men and children,” he

said.  Algerian Izzeddine Zahrour said Israeli authorities “deprived us of food,

water and sleep and we weren’t allowed to use the toilet”.  “It was an ugly

kidnapping and subsequently bad treatment in Israeli jail,” he said.

“They handcuffed us, pushed us around and humiliated us,” Egyptian MP Hazem

Farouq, who was also on the boat, said and added what he witnessed on the

ship “defied his imagination”.


“It was hell on the sea. I saw Israeli soldiers killing activists in cold

blood and then walking on their bodies,” Farouq, who was one of more than

700 activists aboard the Freedom Flotilla attacked by Israeli commandos,

said on Tuesday in Cairo.   “The Israeli soldiers sprayed bullets as if they

were a mafia in an American  film.”  Farouq and his colleague Mohammad

Al Beltagui were detained along with many activists, who survived the

widely condemned Israeli attack.


They were released late on Monday after direct intervention by the Egyptian

Foreign Ministry.   Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty

with Israel in 1979.  “The Israelis left some of the injured activists bleeding

without treatment until death,” Farouq said.  He added that he and Al Beltagui

had been robbed of all their belongings and around $3,500 in cash.  Both MPs

belong to the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s strongest opposition force.


“All the survivors on the ship were beaten up, stripped and humiliated by the

Israeli commandos while other Israeli soldiers were busy firing teargas,” said

Al Beltagui.  “What happened is sheer thuggery and piracy,” he added.

According to him, the blood was so copious on the ship that some Israeli

soldiers slipped while on board.  “We were kept aboard the ship until 3pm under

the blazing sun, a situation that made many people, including women, suffer

sunstroke and lose consciousness.”


The two lawmakers, whom the Egyptian authorities said they had joined the

humanitarian effort without notifying them, said they and other activists

had refused to sign a written Israeli statement that they had attempted to

illegally enter Israel.  “Al Beltagui and I left the detention centre only in the

underwear, which were stained with blood of the martyrs, and without shoes

until the Egyptian Consul in Israel came to accompany us to the [Egyptian]

border town of Taba,” said Farouq.