Photo: Al-Jazeera
Soldiers on board the Marmara
Photo: Al-Jazeera
Vessel approaches Ashdod Port
Photo: AFP

Flotilla activists claim IDF soldiers used their credit cards

Guardian newspaper says activists on board Marmara, other ships were charged for vending machine, online purchases of up to hundreds of dollars after their credit cards had been confiscated. Israel embassy in London advises one activist to file formal complaint

Activists who were detained during the raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla blamed IDF troops on Friday of stealing after confiscated credit cards belonging to them were subsequently used, the British Guardian newspaper reported.


According to the report, soldiers appear to have used confiscated credit cards to buy items such as iPod accessories, while mobile phones seized from activists have been used for calls.


The paper noted that Ebrahim Musaji, 23, of Gloucester, has a bank statement showing his credit card was used in an Israeli vending machine for a purchase costing him 82 pennies on June 9.


He further claimed that his card had been used on a Dutch website, twice on June 10: once for amounts equivalent to £42.42 and then for £37.83.


Kathy Sheetz from California claimed that she has been charged more than $1,000 in transactions from vending machines in Israel since June 6.


According to the Guardian, the two activists were on board two separate boats - the Marmara, on which nine Turkish activists were killed, and the Challenger 1. Both only entered Israel when arrested, and were in custody for their entire time on Israeli soil.


"They've obviously taken my card and used it," Musaji told the Guardian.


"When they take things like people's videos and debit cards and use them, and their mobile phones, it becomes a bit of a joke.


Musaji canceled his card on June 7, a day after returning to Britain and was promised by his bank that the transactions would be treated as fraudulent and that he would not be charged for them.


He also claimed that his mobile phone had been used for two short calls in Israel after it had been confiscated.


'Activists welcome to file complaints'

The Guardian report noted that an 80-year-old American activist claims his iPhone was used, while an Italian journalist, said his card was charged with the equivalent of €54 after it was confiscated.


A spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in London told Musaji he is welcome to file an official complaint.


"We regard any misconduct as described in Mr Musaji's allegations to be utterly unacceptable and intolerable, and suggest waiting until this subject matter is clarified," she said. "As had happened previously, an Israeli soldier was found guilty of illegal use of a credit card for which he was indicted and sentenced to seven months' imprisonment."


פרסום ראשון: 06.19.10, 08:44
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