Johannesburg – A South African woman on Wednesday made a plea for help after the Israeli government intercepted a boat carrying pro-Palestinian female activists to Gaza.
Leigh-Ann Naidoo said she was “kidnapped” during her humanitarian mission.
In a video posted on YouTube, Naidoo said: “If you are seeing this video, we have been intercepted and kidnapped by the Israeli occupation forces. I want to put [out] an appeal to all my comrades, brothers, sisters and families to put pressure on the South African government to insist that they release me as soon as possible.”
Another crew member, Mairead Maguire, from Northern Ireland, said they were intercepted in international waters and taken into Israel.
Naidoo wrote in a diary entry, published by salaamedia.com, that most boats in the “Freedom Flotilla” were rerouted to the Israeli port of Ashdod, where the Israeli Defence Force would question, process, and deport the women.
“From here we will either be moved to a prison or our deportation will be done while we are being held at the detention centre. Our embassies will come to help us and our legal representatives will do the same. Hopefully our mission will highlight the unlawful and inhumane blockade of Palestine.”
The Department of International Relations and Co-operation could not be reached for comment.
The international Freedom Flotilla Coalition is a solidarity movement, composed of campaigns and initiatives from all over the world, trying to end the Israeli occupation of Gaza.