CT journo on Gaza ship - reports

2010-05-31 16:18

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Cape Town  -  A Cape Town journalist was on board one of the six aid ships attacked by the Israeli navy off the Gaza coast on Monday morning, IOL reports.

Israeli military officials said at least 10 people were killed in the attack, but other media reports put the death toll at 19.

The Cape Argus has learnt that Radio 786 reporter Gadijah Davids, 25, of Strandfontein, was on board the Mavi Marmara, part of the aid flotilla bound for Gaza, which is under an Israeli blockade.

Davids left for Istanbul on May 23 and sailed with the flotilla from Antalya on Thursday night.

Her mother, Magboeba, told the Argus on Monday:  "She said they had been warned to prepare for the worst.

She said: 'Mommy, we've gone through all our drills and have been told to sleep in our clothes, but we’re prepared for the worst and I'm very calm."

Israel's 'Sharpeville'

Since the attack on Monday morning neither she nor her daughter’s colleagues had heard from her.

Earlier the  Palestine Solidarity Committee of South Africa (PSCSA) told News24 the raid was "Israel's Sharpeville".

It said the incident could prove to be a defining moment in the decades-long conflict between Palestine and Israel.

"This is Israel's Sharpeville," the organisation said, likening the event to the March 1960 massacre of 69 people by apartheid police in the South African township of Sharpeville that brought international attention and action against the government at the time.

The organisation said the "boat massacre", in which more than 19 pro-Palestinian activists are believed to have been killed, shows an increasing desperation from Israel.

The committee has also called on the South African government to act against Israel's "crime against humanity and a violation of international law".

Israel imposed the embargo after Hamas took over Gaza in 2006, saying it feared that arms would reach the area. This has left the communities in the area in desperate need of medicines, fuel, machinery and other goods.

Pretext

The South African government  has called the incident "a gross violation of international law and is deserving of the highest level of international condemnation".

Meanwhile, the South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) came out in defence of Israel, saying the ships were headed to Gaza only "on a pretext of breaking the blockade".

It pointed to the presence of pistols on the ship, which some activists reportedly used during the raid, and said there was evidence that there were more arms on the ship.

The federation said it was confident that Israel had broken no laws in the raid after it consulted an international law expert.




Read more on:    sazf  |  palestine  |  israel  |  gaza ship raid  |  middle east peace
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