20 Activists also still missing
Source: Press TV
The fate of a Press TV correspondent captured by Israeli forces onboard a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in international waters remains unknown, Press TV reports.
The British citizen, Hassan Ghani, has been denied access to an attorney and the Israeli regime has not divulged which prison he is being held in.
The Press TV reporter was taken into Israeli custody along with 26 other activists and journalists on Friday as he was reporting on an attempt by two aid ships to break Tel Aviv regime's economic blockade of the Palestinian populated Gaza strip.
His father, Haq Ghani, said he had a short phone conversation with Hassan and that his son has refused to sign a waiver the Israelis tried to impose on him, absolving the Tel Aviv regime of all responsibilities.
“A terrorist state like Israel is allowed to get away with state terrorism as it has done in this case where it has gone on high seas, international waters and has kidnapped two boats with 27 people and yet no country in the world has made any reaction,” Haq Ghani said.
The mini aid flotilla, called Freedom Waves to Gaza, departed from the Turkish port city of Fethiye on Wednesday and was scheduled to reach the Gaza Strip on Friday.
The Canadian ship, Tahrir (Freedom), and the Irish ship, Saoirse (Freedom) were carrying 27 activists, including journalists and crewmembers, along with 30,000 dollars worth of medicine.
Shortly before Hassan's boat, the Tahrir, was attacked by Israeli warships and minutes before his arrest, he managed to file one last report.
Subsequently, seven were reportedly released, but at least 20 remained in custody because they refused to sign deportation papers.
Ex- Gaza convoy member, Alex Lorty Philips, who previously traveled with Hassan on two convoys to Gaza, including one during which the Israelis killed nine Turkish citizens, is now launching public information campaign to keep Hassan's predicament in the spotlight.
“We are very disappointed that again the only response that the UK government when our citizen has been illegally intercepted and detained ... assistance. There has been no statement from many I have been aware of as yet about his situation. The same for the Canadian detainees,” Phillips said.
The British Foreign Office claims that they have provided Hassan with consular assistance in Israel. Meanwhile, their Israeli allies insist that they won't allow the Gaza blockade to be broken due to what the claim as the possibility of smuggling weapons for the Hamas government in Gaza.
Israel has intercepted Gaze-bound aid flotillas before. On May 31, 2010, Israeli commandos attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in international waters, killing nine Turkish activists and injuring dozens of others.
Pro-Palestinian activists say the Gaza flotillas will continue despite aggressive military measures by Israeli forces, arguing that Israel's blockade of Gaza is causing unprecedented suffering for all Palestinian residents of the impoverished territory.
Gaza has been blockaded since 2006, a situation which has caused a decline in the standard of living in the densely populated enclave and brought about unprecedented levels of unemployment and poverty there.