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'Message of peace.' Intercepted boat
Photo: AP
'Jewish vessel' passenger: Soldier tasered me
Passengers aboard Gaza-bound vessel refute IDF claims of non-violent takeover. 'There are no words to describe what we went through,' former pilot Yonatan Shapira says. Holocaust survivor who took part in sail: I can't sleep at night because of what Israel is doing to Gazans

The five Israelis who were aboard a Gaza-bound boat that was intercepted by the Israeli Navy on Tuesday were released later the day after being questioned by Ashdod Police on suspicion of illegally entering Israel.

 

During their interrogation, the Israelis said they wanted to transfer humanitarian aid to Gaza as well as bring a message of peace. Yonatan Shapira, a former Israel Air Force pilot who took part in the sail, said soldiers resorted to violence while taking over the boat.

 

"There are no words to describe what we went through," he said. "The IDF Spokesperson's Unit is trying to paint a picture as though the takeover was not violent, but the soldiers' actions were violent and disgusting. I was tasered by a soldier. Our message is that the occupation in Gaza cannot continue."

 

Reuven Moskowitz, an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor who was also aboard the vessel, backed Shapira's claim. "We are people who came with a message of peace and we did not anticipate a burst of violence against us, but the officers acted violently.

 

"I can’t sleep at night because of what we are dong to the Arabs in Gaza. This situation is unacceptable, particularly because of our history," he said.

 

The army said no violence was used during the takeover.

 

 

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