Daniel Edleson | YNet News
2 July 2009
An Israeli citizen who was among 21 peace activists apprehended by the IDF en route to the Gaza Strip says she was held under conditions resembling a “horror movie.”
Houida Araf, who was released on Wednesday, told Ynet that she and a fellow Israeli peace activist were separated from the group and taken to the Ashdod Port.
“They put us in a warehouse, where we slept on a cockroach-infested cement floor, as armed soldiers were monitoring us,” she said. “They didn’t say a word to us. They confiscated all our personal belongings and phones, and they didn’t let us contact anyone. A day later they left us at the Ashdod central bus station without any money or belongings.”
“What they did to us is unforgivable, but we’re not the story here,” Araf said. “The fact they threatened us with violence because we wanted to transfer medical supplies and drawing equipment for children is simply absurd.”
‘We’ll be back’
Meanwhile, 19 foreign peace activists detained on board the Gaza-bound ship are still behind held by the Immigration Authority at Ben Gurion Airport. The activists, whose vessel was seized, will soon be expelled from Israel, but they say they are determined to come back.
One of the initiative’s organizers, Ramzi Kysia, told Ynet: “We’ll be back again and again…the Israeli regime should be careful, because we’re coming. We won’t stop until this blockade is broken forever and Gaza residents have access to the rest of the world.”
Kysia added that the group’s attorney will demand that Israel hand over the vessel it seized.