'Evidence of Israel's crimes'
Activists prepare for Navy raid (archives)
Photo: Reuters

Gaza flotilla organizer: We'll sue Israel at ICJ

Audrey Bomse of Free Gaza movement says members collecting evidence, testimonies from passengers stopped by Israel on their way to Strip in order to make Jewish state 'pay the price for its crimes'. Civilians to file similar claim in Greek court

Organizers of a flotilla which attempted to reach the Gaza Strip in late May are planning to file a lawsuit with the International Court of Justice in The Hague against the State of Israel and the officials responsible for the raid of the ships.


In addition, dozens of Greek civilians are planning to file another lawsuit against Israeli officials over the same affair at a local court in their country.


Audrey Bomse, legal officer for the Free Gaza movement, told Ynet that the organizations behind the flotilla are working on a lawsuit against Israel with the help of 12 lawyers from countries whose citizens took part in the sail.


The lawyers are collecting evidence and testimonies from the passengers who were onboard the ships making their way to the Strip, and have even approached representatives of different countries – including the United States and Britain – and demanded that they pressure Israel to return the seized vessels. A personal appeal was made to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


According to Bomse, the organization members will also demand that Israel return other items confiscated from the passengers, including cellular phones and computers, which they said included "evidence of the Israeli crimes".


She said that the claim would be filed for the killing of civilians, inhumane treatment, injuries and damage caused to people and property, illegal deportation of the passengers, taking people hostage and robbery. She noted that the Israel Defense Forces soldiers used the activists' credit cards.


'Israel violated Greek law'

Meanwhile, more than 30 Greek citizens who took part in the Gaza flotilla are planning to file a lawsuit with the Public Prosecutor's Office in Athens against the Israeli defense minister, chief of staff and other senior officials who they say violated the local criminal law and international law by raiding the vessels.


One of the plaintiffs, Professor Vangelis Pissias, explained that the passengers planned to sue Israel for the security forces' violent takeover of the ships, for the "violent" arrests and for the property taken from the activists.


"We are not rich," Pissias told Ynet. "Israel returned our bags without the property which they contained. They sent me an empty bag without my computer. I don't know where it is, it might have gotten lost on the way – but someone has to pay for it. It's clear that we have to sue those responsible in Israel. It will serve as a message to this country that international law must be honored and that they cannot act that way."


He said he and his friends planned to continue their struggle until Israel changed its policy.


"We hope that the siege will be lifted. We don’t want to spend our tile on flotillas, but the rights of Gaza's residents are being violated and we have a responsibility, as civilians, to work to change Israel's attitude. If we have the power we can operate in other places in the world as well. We are only fulfilling our duty."


פרסום ראשון: 06.23.10, 21:13
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