Thursday, June 03, 2010

Italian survivors from attack on Flotilla: "Beaten on the ship and at the airport"

The six Italian activists, part of the Flotilla headed to Gaza and attacked by an Israeli commando while in international waters, are back in Italy.

Angela Lano, Giuseppe Fallisi, Ismail Abdel Rahim Qaraqe Awin, Marcello Faraggi, Manuel Zani e Manolo Luppichini are telling their horror stories to police and journalists: "We were beaten by the Israeli troops first on the ship when they assaulted us and arrested, and also at the airport of Tel Aviv by the Israeli police."

Said Giuseppe Fallisi: "We were brought to a prison in the middle of the desert, just built: it seemed they built it on purpose for our arrival."

Angela Lano, editor of the information agency InfoPal, told the press: "We were kidnapped, both on the ship and in jail, where we didn't have any right: we couldn't make phone calls, not even to contact our lawyers."

Ismail Abdel Rahim Qaraqe Awin, of Palestinian origins, is angry: "We've done this for that million and a half Palestinians who are still in jail. We want to do it again. We want the Italian government and all countries to understand. Stop being silent: end the siege on Gaza."

"The assualt of the Israeli soldiers boarding on the ship seemed like a scene from Apocalypse Now," recalled Manuel Zani. "When we understood they were going to attack us we split up into two groups. I went to the pilot-house with the journalists to try to record on tape what was happening, but they confiscated everything. I will never go to Israel again in my life," he concluded, "but I want to go back to Palestine as soon as I can."

The Italian government, together with the United States and the Netherlands, has voted against the launch of an international investigation on the carnage carried out by Israeli soldiers. As the Italian government has already had the opportunity to show its weakness and unwillingness in defending the rights of Italians abroad, there's little hope the leaders of the Belpaese will stick their neck out in this occasion.

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