"It's sad to sail for peace and return to war," said the son Mohammad Zeidan, chairman of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee. Zeidan, who was on board one of the Gaza flotilla ships, was said to be healthy but "we won’t be calm until we hear his voice," said his son Ashraf.
According to Ashraf, the family has not spoken to Zeidan in two days. "They disabled the phone lines and communications even before the ships set sail. We haven't spoken to dad for a few long hours and we are getting increasingly worried," said Zeidan's son, and spoke about the tense night during which they all watched the live broadcast.
"All of the sudden I heard MK Hanin Zoabi say, 'Don’t shoot, there are citizens here.' I was very scared and started shivering because I knew dad was with her on the ship. After that the transmission was cut off, and we have been very confused since."
Many public activists and village residents gathered in Zeidan's home since the hours of the morning. They also heard the rumors about Islamic Movement's northern branch leader Sheikh Raed Salah's serious injury, while other reports stated some Arab Israelis were among the wounded. Later on, they heard that one of the seriously injured passengers was taken to Chaim Sheba Medical Center.
"We called different sources, including army officers, and were told dad was safe and sound. However, because of the great confusion won't don't believe anything until we see him," he said.
Ashraf noted his father did not consult with them before joining the flotilla. "He is a man who believes in peace and clearly the aim of the convoy was peaceful; to assist those who are hungry.
"Neither us, nor our father were prepared for such a violent response from the Israeli military. We knew there will be resistance, but we didn’t think it would amount to bloodshed and fatalities. We don’t want to see bloodshed on either side. Everyone needs to guarantee that there is peace," he said.