Pro-Palestinian activist accused IDF soldiers of using stun guns as they seized Gaza-bound vessel
Activists who were detained aboard the Estelle, a Gaza-bound ship that was seized but the Israel Navy on Saturday, accused the soldiers of using taser guns to overpower them, Ynet learned Sunday.
Pro-Palestinian Israeli activist Yonatan Shapira, who was detained by the military, told his mother, Dr. Zvia Shapira, that soldiers used stun guns to subdue the activists.
The IDF said Saturday that the vessel was seized without the use of force.
Shapira called his mother from the Ashdod Police station, where he and Israeli activists Elik Yehezkel and Reut Mor were taken after they were detained. He noted that they were all unharmed.
Zvia Shapira reportedly told her son that she was outside the police station, with the other detainees’ friends and families, and that they were holding a support rally.
She then recounted his story for the others: “Yonatan said that they were tasered in their legs and arms… It’s horrible, but he sounds calm.”
Earlier in the day, Shapira’s mother said she was proud of him, saying he was “a true Israeli patriot.”
“I wish more Israelis would do what he does. He follows his heart and his values… he doesn’t hate Israel. He’s not a traitor. He’s a bigger patriot than anyone else and he’s much braver than a lot of people.
“He knows that the Israeli government is doing something unthinkable with this blockade and that we won’t be able to end the conflict like that.”
Dr. Shapira also questioned the IDF‘s version of the events, which said no humanitarian aid was found aboard the Estelle.
“If that’s what they say, they should show us the film so we can see for ourselves that there wasn’t any (humanitarian) equipment on the ship. I believe Yonatan, who told me that there were medicines and toys.”
As for the sail being a movement to provoke an Israeli response, she said: “This was a provocation meant to raise awareness. They assumed they wouldn’t be able to get to Gaza. As long as it’s smart provocation – a nonviolent one – I’m proud of it.”
The Ashkelon Magistrate’s Court remanded the three for three additional days.
Prior to the arraignment, Shapira said: “Five miles from Israel’s international (maritime) border, there were five warships, a helicopter, 10 smaller boats and dozens of soldiers who came to stopped us, boarded the ship and took control of 30 activists. Elik was tasered repeatedly.”
The police asked the court to hold a closed-door arraignment, citing national security, but Judge Orit Hadad denied the request.
The three, who are suspected of sedition, aiding and abetting the enemy and violating a military directive, were defined by Hadad as “peace activists” – and promptly remanded to police custody.
The three’s attorney said that they “did not act violently so these accusations are baseless and overstated. This was a legitimate act of protest and the State is trying to shut them up.”
Neri Brenner contributed to this report
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4294718,00.html