About 200 people gathered yesterday at Georgia and Hamilton streets to protest Israel’s recent violence against a Gaza aid flotilla.
The protest comes in wake of Monday’s confrontation between Israeli officers and the crew of a pro-Palestinian flotilla. The officers seized the ships and arrested the occupants, who were purportedly trying to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza.
Three Canadians, including Kevin Neish of Victoria, were among those arrested. Nine people died in the seizure, and several other crew members and Israeli officers were injured.
Neish’s brother Steve was relieved that his younger sibling would soon be home.
“I’m going to congratulate him on a job well done,” he said in a telephone interview. “He’s more aware of how bad the incident was and how terribly it turned out. He’s more aware of that than anybody. I don’t think we have to talk too much to him about that.”
Neish’s friend Zoe Blunt said he’ll get “a hero’s welcome.”
Mordecai Briemberg, one of the organizer’s of yesterday’s rally and a member of the Canada Palestine Support Network, said he thinks the blockade and the Israeli military action against the flotilla, are illegal and violate the Geneva Convention.
“Israel seized through an act of piracy several ships from the high seas (on Monday), but the ship that’s really sinking is Israel,” he said.
However, Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has said the blockade is essential to his country’s security, and referred to Gaza as a “terror state.”
With files from The Canadian Press