Hawaii Woman Held By Israelis
Activist Was On Aid Mission Attacked By Commandos
Dick Allgire KITV 4 News Reporter
POSTED: 3:54 pm HST June 1, 2010
HONOLULU — Retired Army Col. Ann Wright, a Honolulu resident, is reportedly being held by the Israeli government after commandos stormed a flotilla of ships taking aid to Palestinians in Gaza, killing 9 and wounding dozens of others.
Wright is a former state department official who resigned in protest over the Iraq war. She was on one of the ships attempting to take supplies to Palestinians cut off by the Israelis in Gaza.
Wright has been highly critical of Israel.
“They’ve been able to get away with any criminal act and violation of international law, and America protects them,” Wright said in an interview conducted aboard one of the ships just before the attack.
A YouTube video shows a person who appears to be Wright being escorted off one of the boats that had been diverted to Israel.
“It appears from the video that she was walking OK, but people who were deported have reported beatings after they were arrested. They’ve been reporting harsh interrogation techniques, so of course you worry about her,” said Carolyn Hadfield, a friend of Wright.
Protestors gathered at the Federal Building in downtown Honolulu on Tuesday to show support for Wright and criticism of the Israel.
“We’re all worried about getting our people back home, and a little alarmed that the U.S. government seems unconcerned. If you look at all the other nations involved, they’re very angry and demanding Israel return their people. The U.S. is protecting Israel in the United Nations,” said Michael Rivero at the demonstration.
The Israel government said those who are being detained will be released and deported within 48 hours. Friends of Wright hope she comes home safe
“She was a Colonel in the military. She had a very sober understanding of the stakes and knew what was happening to Palestinian people,” Hadfield said.