Israel uses excessive force against Estelle
The activists on board the humanitarian vessel Estelle said excessive force was used while they were detained in contradiction to what Israel claimed earlier.
Palestine, Palestine - Gaza, Middle East, Turkey 24.10.2012

A statement released on the organizer’s website shortly after the vessel was intercepted by Israeli naval forces denied the Israeli claim that its forces did not have to resort to force and that the ship was detained peacefully.

The activists who were taken captive along with the ship and were later deported after detention by Israeli police said Israeli soldiers used Tasers against the activists who resisted detention during the capture of Estelle.

Some of the activists, including Greek parliamentarians, stated they had bruises on their bodies caused by Tasers the Israeli soldiers used.

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Israeli citizen Elik Elhanan, one of the activists on board the ship Estelle, said in a press conference that Israeli forces used excessive forces against the Estelle’s crew. Israeli naval forces surrounded the ship with 15 boats, Elhanan noted, the soldiers attacked the activists with Tasers and beat a Greek parliamentarian during interrogation.

Estelle had set out from Sweden on 20 June to break illegal naval blockade on Gaza by Israel and take humanitarian aid to Gaza, but was captured and confiscated in international waters by Israeli Defense Forces on Saturday.

A group of the activists who were imprisoned after the ship was seized were deported on Sunday, while the remaining 14 activists, including them parliamentarians, are still detained in prison.

The attorney representing the organizer group said all the activists currently detained would be released on 24 October. The three Israeli activists, who are accused of and tried for ‘aiding the enemy knowingly,’ ‘incitement to rebellion,’ and ‘acting in contravention of law’ (by attempting to breach the blockade on Gaza), were released from prison but put on house arrest.

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