[News] Disappeared free Gaza activist found in Israel's Ramleh Prison
news at freedomarchives.org
Mon Feb 9 12:05:27 EST 2009
Disappeared free Gaza activist, Teresa McDermott,
found in Israel's Ramleh Prison
Monday February 09, 2009 12:43
by Staff - IMEMC News
Scottish activist Teresa McDermott was found in
Ramleh prison, four days after the Israeli
Government claimed she suposedly "disappeared",
after being forcibly removed from a seaborne
Lebanese aid mission to Gaza, a statement
sent to IMEMC on Monday by the Free Gaza movement said.
Teresa was one of only nine passengers aboard the
cargo ship on February 4, 2009 when Israeli
gunboats intercepted it, boarded, and forced the
ship to Ashdod port in Israel. All the passengers
and crew aboard were released on Thursday, February 5, except Teresa.
Between Thursday evening and Sunday morning there
was no word in regards to Teresa's whereabouts,
except for several false stories stating that
"Britons" had departed to London.
Finally, on Sunday, Teresa was able to call her
brother John in Scotland to say she was in Ramleh
prison in Israel. According to Al Jazeera
journalist, Salam Khodr, when the ship was
boarded, the passengers were beaten and kicked by
Israeli soldiers before being removed from the
ship. No information has been provided by Israeli
officials about why Teresa has been detained,
what the charges are, if any, and why her detention was concealed.
When the British Consulate in Israel was
contacted for assistance in finding Teresa, staff
refused to help locate Teresa saying they
couldn't provide assistance to a UK citizen
unless she personally requested it.
Members of the Scottish Parliament including
Pauline McNeil and Hugh O'Donnell, who were part
of a fall delegation to Gaza aboard the Free Gaza
boat, Dignity, are working with the British
government to ensure that Teresa receives the
protection and assistance to which she is entitled.
Teresa went to Gaza with the first Free Gaza
boats in August and returned with the ship
Dignity for a second voyage. She is a respected,
long time human rights activist who has worked
with the International Solidarity Movement in
Palestine, as well as with Free Gaza.
At home in Scotland, she works for the Post
Office. The Israelis found only medical and
other humanitarian aid on the Tali but refused to
return the ship. The status of its humanitarian cargo is unknown.
Scottish activist on humanitarian mission for Gaza found in Israeli prison
09.02.09 - 13:08
Gaza / PNN The missing passenger from the
Lebanese ship bringing aid to Gaza was found
yesterday. Resident of Scotland, Teresa
McDermott, was able to telephone her brother from Ramle Prison on Sunday.
The Israeli administration arrested all of the
passengers from the Togo flagged ship, Tali, last
week after "beating and kicking" them.
That report was confirmed by Al Jazeera reporter Salam Khader who was on board.
For four days McDermott was held without contact
in the Tel Aviv area Israeli prison. She was one
of nine passengers aboard the cargo ship carrying
medical and humanitarian supplies as part of
ongoing local and international efforts to break
the siege on Gaza. On 4 February Israeli gunboats
intercepted and boarded the ship, forcing it into the Israeli Ashdod port.
The Tali was impounded and the aid confiscated.
The Israelis said they would release the blood
donations that were on board. All of the
passengers were released on Thursday and Friday
except for McDermott. It is unknown what the
Israeli issue is with this particular woman who
works as a postal clerk in Scotland and is
described as a respected activist. The British
Consulate in Tel Aviv was not said to be helpful
in locating the Brit. Members of Scottish
Parliament who have participated in past voyages
with McDermott to break the siege, Pauline McNeil
and Hugh ODonnell, are working on the issue.
The year and a half siege on the Gaza Strip
brought the medical sector to a near standstill
with medicines banned along with materials to
repair equipment. Sewage, water and electricity
were greatly impacted under the siege that
continues even after the major attacks that
killed 1,330 Palestinians have ceased.
Five voyages have successfully arrived since
August with several chased back. The Israeli
administration said that the fate of the Lebanese
ship will be that of any others that attempt
future humanitarian missions to the Gaza Strip.
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