NEWS

Probe into activists’ abuse claims

Following the safe return to Greece of 35 activists, detained on Monday after Israeli commandos stormed six ships bound for the Gaza Strip, the Foreign Ministry has said it will investigate claims that several Greeks were mistreated. «The Foreign Ministry’s crisis management unit will contact all Greek citizens who were part of the mission to pursue these claims [and track] lost items,» ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras told reporters. A group of 31 Greeks held in an Israeli jail with dozens of other activists were flown home on Thursday aboard a Greek military aircraft that also brought back three French citizens and one US national. The day before that six Greeks had been flown home after being forced to sign a document expressing regret for «illegally entering Israeli territory» even though the raid, which resulted in nine deaths and dozens of injuries, took place well within international waters. Delavekouras said the ministry wanted «an independent investigation to bring everything to light… to produce findings we can trust, so that it becomes clear what happened and who is responsible.» He added that the «international community wants a substantial and in-depth investigation.» A group of around 50 pro-Palestinian activists yesterday protested Israel’s deadly attack on the aid convoy on Monday by occupying an Israeli irrigation firm in central Athens. The occupation of the offices lasted for about an hour and ended peacefully. On Thursday night, around 3,000 demonstrators – including many who had been on the vessels stormed by Israeli commandos – rallied outside Parliament in central Athens. Waving Palestinian flags, the protesters called on Greece to press Israel for the return of the six seized ships, as well as the tons of humanitarian aid they had been carrying.