The declaration below was written by a group of Greeks from the cargo ship "Eleftheri Mesogeios" and the Sfendoni, two of the ships hijacked by the Israeli Defence Force while on their way to Gaza in company with the ships from Turkey (IHH) and 1 from the Free Gaza movement. The imprisoned passengers wrote this declaration while still detained at Bersheeba prison yesterday evening, when they gave it to the Greek ambassador who made it public. The full report can be found at in.gr:
“The cargo ship “Eleftheri Mesogeios”, flying the Greek flag with 22 Greek passengers, which was participating in the international mission Freedom Flotilla transporting humanitarian aid, was subject to piratical attack dawn on Tuesday 31/5 by fully-armed Israeli commandos within international waters. A few hours earlier the passenger ship “Sfendoni”, which was also carrying Greeks, along with the other four ships of the mission had been subject to similarly violent attack. Live fire was used and plain civilians murdered. The Israeli commandos with guns to the fore assaulted the ships, beat the Greek passengers roughly employing physical violence and using electro-shock guns, they bound them with handcuffs, and brutality dragged them to the deck.
“The violence of the Israelis also continued at the port of Ashdod where they had conducted the ships and passengers, there the Greeks were severely beaten with unprecedented brutality and 3 of those were transferred to hospital or to separate detention areas. We Greek men and women, who find ourselves illegally detained in Israeli prisons, refuse to consent to signing any statement whatsoever sought of us by the rogue-state. We unequivocally denounce the murderous attack upon the international mission. We call the Greek government to sever every diplomatic relation with Israel, a rogue-state that has put an end to 5,000 years of free navigation in the Mediterranean.
“We declare that as long as Gaza is besieged, as long as Palestine is under occupation, as long as the international community does not dare to enforce international law and international resolutions upon Israel, we will continue to prepare new missions and to sail to the waters of Gaza; until the time when the largest concentration camp created by the Israelis in the 21st century ceases to exist.”
Israel has said that all of the 38 Greeks are to be freed, and an aeroplane has been sent by the Greek state to retrieve them. They are due to arrive this Wednesday evening. Their condition is said to be bad, as they have been badly beaten and deprived of basic necessities, such as food, water and use of toilets. The passengers from the various boats have also been unanimous in their accounts of the violent treatment, along with the use of electro-shock guns (tasers) as well as the use of unknown injections and suspicious medical treatment during their period of detention and interrogation. The Greek state, along with European states in general, however, remains hesitant and has refused to take a direct stance condemning Israel's siege upon Gaza.