Freedom Flotilla activists say that the Israeli forces who arrested them stole some of their personal possessions and have still not returned them.
The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the M.V. Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.
Israel also arrested and later released nearly 700 activists from 42 countries who were on board the ships of the Freedom Flotilla, which was attempting to break the siege of Gaza in order to deliver 10,000 tons of humanitarian assistance to the long-suffering people of the territory.
The activists were “abducted and imprisoned, many of whom were beaten and wounded and nearly all their belongings confiscated,” AFP quoted the UK-registered Palestine Legal Aid Fund as saying earlier in the week.
The British daily The Guardian said on Friday that the Israelis not only seized money and goods destined for the impoverished people of Gaza but also confiscated most of the personal possessions of the Freedom Flotilla activists.
Soldiers had used confiscated debit cards to buy items such as iPod accessories, while mobile phones seized from activists have also been used for calls, it added.
Californian activist Kathy Sheetz has alleged that she has been charged more than $1,000 in transactions from vending machines in Israel since June 6.
“They’ve obviously taken my card and used it,” British activist Ebrahim Musaji told the newspaper.
“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,” he said. “We were held hostage, we were attacked, and now there’s been theft. If the police confiscate your goods in the UK, they’re not going to use your goods and think they can get away with it.”
Israel is still holding at least £1 million (over $1.4 million) of commodities and cash from the confiscated relief supplies and personal possessions, The Guardian quoted the Freedom Flotilla activists as saying.
The newspaper said some passports, three of them belonging to British citizens, have still not been returned.
Spies of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency have been known to use fake passports to provide cover identities.
The issue became a serious scandal for Israel when it was discovered that the Mossad agents who assassinated Hamas commander Mahmud al-Mabhuh in Dubai on January 19 had used foreign passports to enter and leave the United Arab Emirates.