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News : No word on SA journalist's fate

Fate of a Cape Town journalist who was on the Gaza aid ship that was attacked on Monday still remains unknown as no one has heard anything from her. Gadija Davids, 25, from Western Cape radio station Radio 786, last spoke to her mother and her news editor just before the Israeli military attacked the flotilla aid ship about 65km from the coast of Gaza where she told them that she and approximately 750 passengers were extremely nervous and "expecting the worst".

That was the last time anyone was able to make contact with Gadija Davids, 25, from Western Cape radio station Radio 786, on board the Mavi Marmara.

Davids' news editor, Zubeida Samsodien, told Beeld: "We don't know whether she's been taken hostage, whether she's been injured or killed.

"We've had absolutely no contact from anyone since the attack took place.

"The Israelis cut all channels of communication and apparently confiscated everyone's cellphones and electronic devices. The survivors were apparently all arrested."

At least ten and possibly as many as 25 of the passengers were killed in the attack. More than 60 were injured.

During Samsodien's last conversation with Davids, Israeli warships had already started issuing “threats”.

"Gadija said two of the Israeli ships were already trying to place gangplanks on either side of the Mavi Marmara, but then the convoy changed course and headed away from Gaza," said Samsodien.

According to Samsodien, Davids said the warships moved away once the convoy had changed course. Everyone on board thought the worst was over.

"They were told to sleep fully dressed. Gadija was very nervous. This was the first time she'd been on a plane, and the first time she's left the country."

Israeli soldiers in helicopters and warships raided the convoy of six ships, carrying about 10 000 tons of emergency aid destined for Gaza. The ensuing gun battle ended in a bloodbath.

In response Israel alleged that the aid workers were the first to attack the soldiers with live ammunition, knives and baseball bats.

The South African government expressed their condemnation of the attack on Monday. "The convoy was on a mission of peace and the ships were unarmed.

"The Israeli attack on civilian ships in international waters is a gross contravention of international law. It calls for the highest level of international condemnation," said Saul Molobi, spokesperson for the department of international relations and co-operation.

The department is trying to gain more clarity about the situation from its missions in Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Ankara in Turkey. The ships were sailing under the Turkish flag when they left Cyprus on Sunday.

The Elders, a group of prominent world leaders including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US president Jimmy Carter and former secretary general of the United Nations Kofi Annan, condemned the attack on Monday. – News24

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Tags: Cape   Israel   Gaza   JOURNALIST  

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