Tuesday Oct 23, 201210:17 PM GMT
Israeli forces used "physical violence," say Gaza boat activists
Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:18PM
Constantine Venizelos, PressTV, Athens
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Pro-Palestinian activists on board an intercepted Gaza-bound ship accuse Israeli commandos of using heavy-handed tactics. Five Greek members of the mission, among them two parliamentarians held a press conference in Athens, recounting arrest, detention and deportation by Israeli forces.

On October 20th Estelle was only 30 nautical miles away from Gaza in international waters, when armed soldiers attacked the sailing vessel and went on board arresting the entire 30-man crew. Estelle was hauled to the port of Ashdod and the activists were escorted to a detention centre in Holon, a coastal suburb of Tel Aviv.

Contrary to several international media that had reported Estelle was boarded by an unarmed Israeli security force, the Greek legation says Estelle was intercepted by a small destroyer escort fleet comprising 5 vessels, 20 zodiac marine inflatables, 2 water canons, military helicopters and more than 300 men of the Israeli special forces.

The activists say the IDF used physical violence upon their arrest, as well as political and ideological intimidation during their detention.

The Estelle crew say the financial and geopolitical hegemonies should not be allowed to determine, influence or oppress the national identity of either the Palestinians or any other peoples.

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