DUBAI, 2 JUNE, 2010: The 12 Malaysian volunteers, who were on board the aid ship attacked by Israel while sailing to Gaza, are safe and currently travelling by road to Amman.
They are accompanied by Malaysian ambassador to Jordan Datuk Abdul Malek Abdul Aziz and other embassy officials.
The Malaysians had crossed the border into Jordan earlier.
“All of them are safe and in good spirits,” the envoy told Bernama when contacted from Dubai.
He said the volunteers had only the clothes on their backs and some of them did not even have their passports with them.
The 12 Malaysians were among those seized by Israeli forces who stormed the “Mavi Marmara” ship that was part of the Gaza aid flotilla on Monday.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman is due to arrive in Amman later Wednesday.
Abdul Malek said hte Malaysian Foreign Ministry and the embassy would make all necessary arrangements to facilitate the volunteers’ return to Malaysia.
One of them, Noor Azman Muhamad Samsuddin, told Bernama over the phone that the pre-dawn storming of the ship by Israeli commandos had been a harrowing experience.
He said most of the people on board the vessel laden with humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, who have been under an Israeli blockade for the past three years, had not expected the level of force shown by the Israelis during the deadly incident.
Reports said that at least 10 people were killed during the raid, sparking condemnation from countries around the world, including Malaysia.
According to Noor Azman, two volunteers from Indonesia were also injured during the Israeli attack.
Meanwhile, Astro Awani broadcast journalist Ashwad Ismail, in a live telecast with the station in Kuala Lumpur, said the volunteers were safe, but tired and dehydrated.
Ashwad, 25, who was also onboard the ship said: “We thank the Malaysian government, the embassy (in Jordan) and the international community for the efforts to get us out”.
He also thanked Malaysians for praying for their safety.
Recalling the attack by the Israeli forces, Ashwad said it happened at about 4.20am when the ship was about 68 miles out of the Israeli territorial waters.
“The Israeli forces surrounded us from all sides…they used 19 boats, eight ships and three helicopters,” he added.
He said the Israeli forces used live bullets in the attack while the volunteers only used non-lethal weapons and water hose.
“We were attacked by the commandos who came onto the ship, Samsulkamal Abdul Latip (cameraman) and I were safe, but two other volunteers near us were hit on the hands and shoulders.
“We then ran to a safer place… saw the volunteers bleeding… it was an experience which was an eye-opener to the world,” he added.
Asked about Samsulkamal’s condition, Ashwad, said they were separated after the Israelis detained and handcuffed them, but he met Samsulkamal again after they were released at the Israel-Jordan border.
Source: Malaysian Digest