Hostages on the Way Home - But How Many?

The latest news on those peace activists who have been illegally held by the Israeli Government is encouraging. We understand that the majority of those being held have been released and are heading back to their homes, via Istanbul. However, we have been told that not all the hostages have been released, with certain activists being singled out for longer detention.

PSC will continue with its campaign to bring pressure on the Israeli Government to release all those who where taken from the flotillas immediately, including a number of Palestinian Israelis who may face criminal charges.

From the reports we have received from those who have been freed, many have witnessed the shootings that took place on board the boat, and with one PSC volunteer cradling a victim of shootings as he died.

We hope to bring you a detailed account from the eyewitnesses who were on board the Mavi Marama.

Emergency National Demonstration Saturday 5th June

The world has looked on aghast as more and more details emerge of the violent attack by the Israeli Government on the unarmed flotilla of boats carrying essential medical supplies to the besieged people of Gaza. Tens of people have been killed and scores more injured.

Those who survived the brutal attack have been illegally imprisoned, without access to legal representatives.

To show our outrage at the brutal and illegal actions of the Israeli Government, PSC along with CND, Stop the War, British Muslim Initiative, Friends of Al-Aqsa, Palestinian Forum of Britain and Viva Palestina have called an emergency demonstration on Saturday 5th June.

The march will start from Downing Street at 1.30 pm and head to the Israeli Embassy in Kensington where there will be a rally.

Reports of Mistreatment
Reports of detained activists being mistreated by the Israeli authorities have already been emerging from those released earlier today and yesterday.
The Guardian contains first hand accounts of the Israeli attack, and of activists being deprived of food, water and sleep while in captivity

Al Jazeera contains reports activists being attacked with plastic bullets, beatings and electric shocks

Lobbying in Parliament - Get your MP to sign EDM 127
Today, Foreign Secretary William Hague made a statement in Parliament in response to an emergency question on the situation in Gaza. Hague answered a number of questions on the blockade of Gaza, the EU trade agreement with Israel and boycotting Israeli goods, and the treatment of flotilla passengers detained by Israel from MPs who are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

Over 3,300 people have already used our lobbying tool to send a letter to William Hague demanding a tougher response to Israel. It is vital to keep the pressure up.

Please ask your MP to sign Early Day Motion 127 - Israel and the Gaza flotilla.

The motion, which has cross-party sponsorship, condemns Israel's attack on the aid convoy, supports the UN's call for an independent enquiry, and demands an immediate end to the blockade of Gaza. Follow this link to use our lobby tool, which takes less than two minutes.

Volunteers Needed for Demo on Saturday
We urgently need help stewarding the demo on Saturday. If you can volunteer as a steward, please let us know immediately. You will need to be at Downing Street at 12pm for a briefing. Email us to register yourself.

The Rachel Corrie due to arrive in Gaza in the next few days
The MC Rachel Corrie and two other ships carrying a 1,000 tonne cargo of medical, educational and rebuilding supplies are due to arrive in Gaza sometime on Friday night or Saturday morning. The ships were due to travel with the six boats captured by Israel on Monday, but were delayed by mechanical difficulties. Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Michael Martin has repeatedly called for Israel to allow the ships to deliver their aid to Gaza.

Speaking earlier today from the boat, Irishman Derek Graham said that he was glad that the Irish government was calling for safe passage for the ship, and that "if this aid is not delivered, then Monday's deaths will have been in vain". He went on to say that if Israeli forces attempted to board the ship, all 15 passengers would sit with their arms in the air so that they would not be attacked. He also called for an end to the illegal three-year-old Israeli siege of Gaza.

Ruqayyah Collector

Campaigns and Communications Officer

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

T: 020 7700 6192


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