[News] Disappeared free Gaza activist found in Israel's Ramleh Prison

Anti-Imperialist News 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 O’Donnell, 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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