Editor’s Note: Early on Monday, Israeli commandos descended on a convoy of humanitarian aid vessels in international waters, dubbed the Freedom Flotilla. Filled with over 700 activists and 10,000 tons of aid destined for Gaza, the boats were captured and their passengers either killed or seized and taken to Israel’s port in Ashdod.
Huwaida Arraf was one of those kidnapped activists, on board a US-flagged vessel called Challenger 1. In the following interview on Wednesday, Arraf recounted her experience during the commando attack, in Israeli detention, and her brutal release:
Dennis Bernstein: First of all, how are you doing? How are you feeling?
DB: Do you have any information now about who died … and how many are wounded?Huwaida Arraf: A little bruised, but no complaints. I’m okay, I’m just worried about the rest of my colleagues, especially those that are in hospitals who we don’t have complete information about. I’m definitely devastated about the loss of lives that was completely unnecessary.
HA: Unfortunately not yet, and I just spoke to the lawyer that we have coordinating visitations to everybody that is still held, whether in a hospital or in jail here, and he said that they’re desperately trying to ascertain this information from the Israelis, and the Israelis are not being forthcoming — denying information when actually the lawyers go to the hospitals to try to check up on people to find out where they are, who they are, how they are doing. They [the lawyers] are not being allowed access.
DB: We’ve seen a lot from the Israelis, we’ve seen some edited tape, the story is that these commandos came under fire, under attack, that they were violently assaulted and thrown over the side of the ships, which left them no choice but to defend themselves. You were on one of these ships, you were with a lot of people who have seen a lot. Give us your best shot in terms of what you understand happened here….Read the entire article here