Passengers of a Jewish aid boat prevented from reaching Gaza are accusing the Israeli military of excessive force in seizing their ship. On Tuesday, eight of the nine activists aboard the Jewish Boat to Gaza ship Irene were released after being apprehended miles off the Gaza coast. They were attempting to deliver a symbolic load of humanitarian aid to break the Israeli siege of the Gaza Strip. Israeli activist and former Israel Air Force pilot Yonatan Shapira said he was beaten and shocked with a taser gun.
Yonatan Shapira: “The soldiers were very brutal to us. They didn’t kill us like they kill the other Palestinians and Muslims, but they were very brutal. I got shot with a taser shock gun, electric, and was brutally treated, just like my brother Itamar. We were detained pretty violently and later, now, were released. And they blame us. They accuse us of attacking the soldiers and threatening the soldiers. And, of course, everything is upside down. It’s a complete lie.”
Other passengers included the eighty-two-year-old Holocaust survivor and Israeli resident Reuven Moskovitz, who lived under Nazi occupation as a child in Romania.
Reuven Moskovitz: “We are talking about one-and-a-half million people, 800,000 children. When I was a child, I was imprisoned for five years, and I can’t forget it. I cannot sleep at night. I have nightmares that have haunted me all my life. Do you know what we are doing to these people (in Gaza) and what we are doing to our own soldiers?”