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The first Greek activists from “Free Gaza” returned

01 June 2010 / 11:06:35  GRReporter
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Nine is the total number of victims of the bloody attacks by Israeli naval forces against six ships carrying humanitarian aid, which had 700 passengers - crew members, activists, journalists and members of the European Parliament from all over the world. According to Israeli authorities about 20 activists were wounded. The nationality of none of those killed was declared but a senior officer said that most of them are Turkish citizens. "From the information we gathered in the list of fatalities that Israeli authorities give there is no name of a Greek", said the Deputy Minister of foreign affairs Dimitris Drutsas. From the Greek activists have been seized the mobile and satellite telephones and all 35 people were arrested. According to Kathimerini, the first six Greek activists arrived and according to www.tvxs.gr 16 of the Greeks have refused to sign their extradition so that to bring charges against Israel for the attack.

Israel's navy is ready to stop another ship carrying humanitarian aid and is headed for the Gaza Strip, announced a senior officer. According to Israeli media two vessels are heading to Gaza and are expected to arrive in the region tomorrow - Wednesday.

As "Reprehensible and unacceptable," the Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou described the attack of the Israeli over the ships carrying humanitarian aid. "Violence, which was used during the operation by the Israeli forces against the international mission carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza can not be justified. It had fatal results, causing deep sorrow. We express our deepest condolences to the victims' families," said Mr Papandreou. "Fortunately among the casualties there are no Greeks. We expect Israel to provide immediate transportation to their homeland. The security of Israel and of the entire region, as well as the finding of a solution to the problems in the area should be done only through negotiations and following the decisions of the Security Council."

In the list of victims there is no name of a Greek citizen said the Deputy Minister of Foreign
Affairs Dimitris Drutsas. He added that the Greek Embassy in Israel is in continuous communication with the Israeli authorities and tomorrow is expected for some of the Greeks activists who participated in the mission to return. Mr. Drutsas announced about the tragic incident and stressed that "the activities of the NGOs should be exercised freely, as far as it is legal and can not be condemned by anyone. The international legislation and the observance of international law applies to all ".

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs announced that the Greek government has decided to suspend the joint military exercises Greece-Israel. Mr. Drutsas noted that the goal of the Greek foreign policy is for two countries to be found - one acting Palestinian state which to exist next to Israel in peace and security.

Israelis attack was severely condemned by all parliamentary representatives in Greece who also expressed their condolences to the families of the victims. At the same time they stressed on the necessity for all channels to send humanitarian aid to Gaza to remain opened, which should be guaranteed by the international forces.

"We want for the illegally arrested to be released immediately and an explanation for what happened by an independent international body as well as justice. We urge the European authorities to show some initiative and act in this direction," was said in a the joint statement of the Greek members of the European Parliament.

Yesterday in Athens, Iraklio, Ioannina, Thessaloniki and Chania were organized protests against the Israeli attack over civilians from at least 50 countries around the world who traveled on six vessels carrying humanitarian aid.

As reported by about 60 journalists who traveled to Gaza on the six ships before the connection was broken, Israeli commandos have "landed" from helicopters on the deck of the ship traveling with the Turkish flag Mavi Marmara around 4:45 in the morning. A few minutes later and after the passengers, including a 18-months-old baby, MEPs and a 85-years-old woman survivor of the Holocaust have raised white flags, they heard screaming and shooting. On the videos, that were spread around the world it cannot be seen if some of the soldiers were attacked with iron from the activists before shooting, as Tel Aviv claims.

Also, despite the claims of Tel Aviv that the ships carried weapons into Gaza, custom controls made by the agents from Greece to Turkey before the departure of the vessels was performed in front of dozens of journalists from around the world, confirming that the cargo was made up solely of humanitarian assistance. According to recent data 480 people of the activists who have refused to say the names to the Israeli authorities were led into the prison with a higher security level, and 48 will be extradited today from Ben Gurion Airport.

Tags: News attack Israel Free Gaza humanitarian mission activists
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