Mavi Marmara survivor says Israel used him as human shield

UPDATED: Press conference with Scottish Flotilla survivors, 3.30pm TODAY (Sunday 6th) at the STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, Glasgow, G3 6NG. See press release appended to the end of this page


Free Gaza movement: 10.05 am, 6th June, Heathrow Terminal 3, Turkish Airlines

Six British citizens, eyewitnesses and members and organisers of the Free Gaza Movement, will return to Heathrow Airport tomorrow morning, Sunday 6th June.

A member of Free Gaza, Osama Qashoo, stated that he “was used as a human shield” by the Israeli navy commandos, and was “beaten and fired at.”

The Free Gaza Movement is one of the organising partners of the Freedom Flotilla whose humanitarian mission to bring aid to the besieged Gaza Strip was attacked by Israeli commandoes on Monday 31st May, with the death of at least nine activists.

Those returning will be met by a large demonstration supporting their actions and protesting against the Israeli assault on the Flotilla and blockade of Gaza.

The returning British citizens were involved in organising the Flotilla. Some were on board the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, which was at the centre of the Israeli attack. They were wounded when forming a human shield to protect activists during the commando raid.

They witnessed the shooting dead of fellow activists and attempted to give them first aid. All were subsequently taken to Ela prison at Beersheva, Israel, and detained subject to signing a document stating that they had entered Israel illegally.

They were kept in total isolation and had no idea of what was happening. They were then sent to Ben Gurion airport and forced on to a Turkish plane to Istanbul. They arrived at 3am on Thursday 3rd June.

In the past days in Turkey they have attended funerals for the nine Turkish activists killed and have sought to provide assistance to those wounded and still undergoing emergency treatment.

Qashoo also says that the Free Gaza Movement has called for a new flotilla of 20 ships to take aid and construction materials to Gaza.

The six arrivals will be holding a press conference at Heathrow to discuss:

  • Their experiences on board the aid Flotilla and in prison in Israel
  • The blatant misrepresentation of their aims in most of the world’s press
  • The illegitimacy of Israel’s blockade of Gaza
  • An attack in international waters under maritime law
  • What action should be taken against the Israeli infringement of human rights
  • The legitimacy of Gaza’s elected government to defend its citizens
  • How the daily suffering of the people in Gaza can be ended
  • Further details of time and arrangements for Press TV Conference:

    Beth: 07795 071 613

    May Abdalla +44 7768553982

    Greta Berlin + 357 99187275



Tayside for Justice in Palestine, Glasgow, Scotland. Sunday 6 June 2010

Ali El-Awaisi, one of the Gaza Flotilla participants will be arriving in Glasgow Airport from Heathrow at 2:15pm Sunday, before joining the Press conference at 3:30pm at STUC.

His family and many friends will be giving him a warm welcome at airport.

Press Conference Notice (Scottish Flotilla Hostages)

333 Woodlands Road,
Glasgow G3 6NG

Starting at: 3.30pm

The Scottish passengers onboard the Flotilla will be holding a press conference tomorrow as above to speak of their experience during the Israeli attack on their ships in international waters last Monday. Hassan Nowarah, Theresa McDermott, Ali El-Awaisi and Hassan Ghani were all onboard the ship when the Israeli’s attacked their ships in International waters.

They will speak of the Israeli attack on 3 different ships (they were on) as well as their own experience of beatings, torture and detention.

The freed hostages will be available at the press conference for comments and questions.

More details from: