British activists seized through the bloody raid on Gaza aid ships were kicked outside of Israel yesterday evening and flown to Turkey without passports or money. The 29 Britons had no choice but to fly to Istanbul, from where they have to find their very own way home. These were among 700 protesters from ships set clear of an Israeli desert prison. Daddy’s home: Palestinian aid flotilla attack survivor Hasan Nowarah is greeted by his son at Glasgow Airport. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein declared that ‘keeping them here would do more harm to the country’s vital interests than good’. The discharge followed days of terrible PR for that Jewish state following its deadly commando raid on six ships carrying humanitarian aid for the blockaded Gaza Strip. At the very least nine people died in Monday’s bloodbath in the Mavi Marmara. Israel claims its commandos were forced to shoot after being attacked with knives and clubs.
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Yesterday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that around the Mavi Marmara, ‘we saw an action directed by terrorists associated with Hamas. This is not the Love Boat. The surviving protesters were captured and taken up to Israel. The injured were put into hospital – including one British man who remains there – and 679 were shut up in prison. Yesterday evening embassy officials in Tel Aviv said there have been 36 Britons within the aid flotilla, not 42 as previously reported, which 29 were deported within the planes supplied by the Turkish government. With one in hospital, and something deported on Tuesday, that leaves five Britons whose exact whereabouts are unknown. A spokesman for any embassy said there is no time to greatly help with emergency passports, but that consular staff were standing by in Istanbul to supply them. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is under no obligation to fly the protesters home, however.
Prime Minister David Cameron told the Commons that Israel should lift its blockade from the Gaza Strip. Irish activist Shane Dillon arrives back at Dublin Airport after he was deported from Israel. But David Miliband, the shadow foreign secretary, said the federal government was not strong enough in condemning the violence, and that the protesters had the right to consular support. An exclusive Irish aid ship using a cargo of medical supplies continues to be determined to attain Gaza. The MV Rachel Corrie, carrying 15 activists including Northern Irish Nobel Peace laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, expects to attain the stage where Israeli commandos raided the flotilla later this week. Irish prime minister Brian Cowen has appealed to Israel to allow it through – despite the fact that the ship can be carrying concrete, a material banned beneath the blockade. They could have already been united under a banner of ‘Free Palestine’, however the protesters up to speed the Gaza-bound flotilla were an assortment of the hard Left, the well-meaning, the ‘professional’ activists, plus the naive.
While lots of the 679 protesters may actually have already been motivated by way of a genuine need to help Gaza’s needy, others had a lot more radical agendas – including, seemingly, the desire to have violence. Those up to speed included a radical Muslim, a socialist feminist along with a Hampshire peacenik who got mixed up in Palestinian struggle because Gaza is approximately exactly the same size because the Isle of Wight. Though brought together because of the need to help the stricken folks of Gaza, their political agendas were radically divergent. As some spoke of spreading world peace, some Muslim activists described the trip as nothing significantly less than a ‘martyrdom operation’. Israel has refused to divulge the identities of this British people thought to have been for the flotilla. But, through the use of information supplied by the organisations which sent these to the Mediterranean, it had been possible to patch together a picture on the extraordinary mixture of those up to speed.
While it really is in no way certain that the British individuals were mixed up in violence, yesterday it became clear that some – perhaps just a tiny minority – of this shipmates had violent intentions. Al-Jazeera broadcast video through the Mavi Marmara showing several Muslims chanting an anti-Semitic song discussing the 7th Century expulsion of Jews from the city in Khaybar, in modem day Saudi Arabia. Dubbed ‘my clever comrade’ by maverick politician George Galloway, Mr Ovenden was expelled from the Socialist Workers Party in 2007 over his support with the controversial former MP. The far-Left activist was Mr Galloway’s parliamentary aide before former Labour MP who create the Respect party, lost his seat at the final election. Mr Ovenden, 40, is really a trustee to the Viva Palestina charity, create by Mr Galloway, and sits over the steering committee of this Stop the War coalition. He stood as being a Respect councillor in Millwall, South London, last month but didn’t gain a council seat after polling only 277 votes.