Six journalists detained after Israel boards Gaza boat

At least six journalists including one Briton have been detained by the Israeli military after their boat was arrested en route to Gaza.

Faithi Jaouadi from Edgware is a video journalist with London-based Arabic TV channel Alhiwar and he was on board the Spirit of Humanity filming his own documentary project.

The voyage was organised by the Free Gaza movement as part of a bid to open up a sea route for taking supplies into the Gaza Strip.

The ship set off yesterday from Cyprus and according to the UK National Union of Journalists it was carrying medical supplies, children’s toys and reconstruction kits.

Press Gazette spoke to Fathi’s wife Renee (also a journalist) this evening and she said she had heard nothing from her husband since the ship was boarded this afternoon. She believes that 21 people on board the ship have had their mobile phones taken are being detained prior to deportation.

She understands that the ship itself has been arrested and taken to an Israeli port.

She said: “The action is totally illegal in terms of international law because the boat it was in international waters and posed no threat to the security of Israel.”

General secretary of the NUJ Jeremy Dear said: “It is outrageous that the Israeli navy should confront it and put the lives of everyone on board in danger.

‘Fathi and the other journalists on board are just doing their jobs reporting on a story that is of interest to the whole world.”

Fathi said that in addition to her husband there were two Al Jazeera journalists on board the boat, US documentary maker Adam Shapiro and an Italian journalist.

According to the NUJ other crew members included former Nobel peace prize winner Mairead Maguire from Northern Ireland and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.

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