6 Captured Malaysians on MV Rachel Corrie Allowed to Return
Total of six Malaysians who were on board on seized MV Rachel Corrie by Israeli naval forces had arrived safely in Jordan at about 5pm Sunday after Israeli authorities expelled them early Sunday.
Like the 12 Malaysians captured by Israelis on Monday's raid on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, the six are expected to board a flight home to Malaysia as soon as possible.
One of the six, journalist Shamsul Akmar, said that Israeli authorities had confiscated their cameras, laptops and mobile phone SIM cards.
As Malaysia has no diplomatic contact with Israel, the six would try to get their possessions back through the Thai embassy in Israel. The 6 were journalist Shamsul Akmar, lawyer Matthias Chang, Parit Member of Parliament Mohd Nizar Zakaria, activist Ahmad Faizal Azumu, and TV3 crew members Halim Mohamed and Mohd Jufri Judin.
MV Rachel Corrie, the last ship of the flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Israeli-blockaded Gaza, was seized by the Israeli Defence Force at about 2.45pm (Malaysian time) yesterday and was escorted to Ashdod Port in Israel.
The Malaysian peace activists were joined on board by former United Nations Assistant Secretary General Dennis Halliday, Nobel Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire, Derek and Jenny Graham from the Free Gaza Movement and documentary film maker Fiona Thompson.
The ship is named after an American woman who was killed by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003 while trying to protest a house demolition.
12 Malaysian on the Mavi Marmara ship returned to home
In another similar incident that happened last week, the 12 Malaysian volunteers who were on board a humanitarian aid ship, Mavi Marmara that was attacked by Israel naval commandos while on its way to blockaded Gaza had returned home safely on Sunday.
They arrived at 5.40am at KLIA and were greeted by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, his officers, Foreign Ministry representatives and the volunteers' family. They were also accompanied by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and several ministry officers arrived from Istanbul via a Malaysia Airlines flight.
Having lunch with the Malaysian PM
All the 12 took off from the Queen Alia International Airport in Jordan at 4.20pm Malaysian time on Friday and flown to Istanbul where they were on transit until Saturday evening.
The Turkish aid ship "Mavi Marmara" was carrying a number of volunteers and activists from other countries including medical supplies was raided by Israeli naval forces which resulted in the death of nine activists.