A Selangor State Assembly member, Dr Abd Rani Osman of Pas, believed to be involved in the humanitarian aid mission heading for Gaza that came under Israeli attack, is safe in Dubai.
An earlier tweet message from Selangor state exco member Elizabeth Wong indicated that Rani was on board the flotilla. Wong subsequently corrected her earlier tweet: Dr Rani is not on board the flotilla; she had just spoken to him after trying to reach him the whole day. Dr Rani, the Adun for Meru, is a physician and veteran in disaster management and rescue rehabilitation work.
Pas MP Mujahid Rawa confirmed that Dr Rani was supposed to be involved in the mission. “He told me he was going there with Yayasan Amal.” Several other Pas members who are voluntary members of the Yayasan Amal aid group are also believed to be part of the mission, he added.
A Rusdibin tweeted a clarification: “We have session with him (Dr Rani) n yayasan amal rep last night in dubai. Deputy pres yayasan amal is on … board.”
Two Malaysian media personnel were also reported to be on board the ships.
Lifeline4Gaza has reportedly confirmed that 12 Malaysians are involved in the mission.
An unverified/unconfirmed SMS said to be received from Dr Rani today and posted on a blog here said eight Malaysians were on board the Mavi Marmara, which was attacked and towed to Haifa:
Hanya Pak Jamal sahaja wakil dari Yayasan Amal yang berada di dalam Mavi Marmara (kapal yang diserang Israel semalam). Sukarelawan yang terlibat adalah daripada Yayasan Amal, HALUAN Palestin, Muslim Care dan Pemuda Masjid. Keseluruhannya, 8 orang rakyat Malaysia (6 sukarelawan dan 2 wartawan) berada di dalam kapal tersebut. 16 orang telah syahid dan kapal tersebut telah ditunda ke Pelabuhan Haifa dan penumpangnya akan ditahan oleh pihak berkuasa Israel.” SMS daripada YB Dr Abd Rani Osman
According to a Pas source, Mat Sabu says several Malaysians have been detained.
Israel’s attack on the flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for besieged Gaza must be roundly condemned.
Three days ago, Aliran Monthly contributor John Hilley wrote to BBC journalists asking them why the BBC had been quiet in their coverage of the Gaza flotilla (until now):
Friday, 28 May, and the long-planned aid flotilla for Gaza is getting underway – follow its progress here.
But, of course, you wouldn’t know a single thing about this heroic, humanitarian voyage if depending on the BBC.
A note to Steve Herrmann and Tarik Kafala at BBC News Online:
Dear Major International News Gathering Organisation (Middle East section)
As a BBC online viewer, I’d like to alert you to reports that a big flotilla of boats is currently making its way across the Mediterranean to Gaza with around 800 activist passengers and a massive cargo of humanitarian aid.
You may not know about this international convoy, widely covered and tracked as a major story by other principal news outlets like al Jazeera, AFP, the Guardian, Haaretz and others.
As a Major International News Gathering Organisation (Middle East section) you may want to check the story out, as it might be of some substantial interest to your readers.
Aside from the key humanitarian issues, there’s a potentially explosive situation pending after the Israeli cabinet met in emergency session and instructed its navy to intercept the flotilla, arrest all its passengers and seize the cargo, all in gross violation, so many expert observers say, of international law.
I’m no expert myself in these matters, but I’d speculate that any Israeli seizure of the large Turkish liner, in particular, carrying the bulk of supporters and cargo, might just become a critical diplomatic incident.
There might also be some scope, in running such a story, to help explain the continuing siege of Gaza and the reasons for all these international efforts to provide assistance for the Palestinians – you know, that BBC thing about informing and educating viewers.
Meanwhile, I’m curious to know why there’s been no report of the matter, to date. I assume it’s just an innocent oversight and realise, of course, that even a Major International News Gathering Organisation (Middle East section) can’t cover everything, even this kind of globally-supported flotilla and emergency situation for Israel. It’s always interesting to know how a Major International News Gathering Organisation (Middle East section) selects and determines its news output.
Anyway, I hope, as a Major International News Gathering Organisation (Middle East section) you can find some time, resources and willingness to put up a report soon.