At least one B.C. resident is part of an aid mission intercepted today (May 30) by the Israeli navy.
Kevin Neish is a 53-year-old retiree who lives in Victoria.
The Straight previously reported that Neish left Vancouver for the Mediterranean Sea on May 21. He was taking part in an aid mission that calls itself the Free Gaza Movement and which was on its way to the Gaza Strip.
The flotilla that Neish was a part of consisted of six ships carrying more than 600 people.
In an e-mail to the Straight received at 8:49 p.m., Zoe Blunt, a friend of Neish’s, wrote:
Reports on Twitter started about twenty minutes ago - Israeli commandos descending from helicopters on the Turkish ship. We are hearing that stun guns and tear gas are being used. Live stream shows people in life jackets lying down and going limp as black-clad commandos arrest them. One report (not confirmed) says three people are dead and 50 injured on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmari. Live stream here: (Turkish language) http://www.livestream.com/insaniyardim.
A second e-mail received at 10:30 p.m. read in part:
Reports: attack is continuing, casualties mounting - possibly 25 or more. Search "flotilla" on Google news and Twitter for updates every second.
These are all unarmed civilians who have been trained in non-violence.
Kevin Neish was assigned to protect a group of journalists on the Challenger II -- his mission was to passively block the hallway and slow down the commandos long enough that the reporters could upload photos and stories.
Blunt also expressed concern that Neish has been hurt.
The Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz is reporting that as many as 60 activists on board the ships have been injured.
According to France24, an Israeli television station is reporting that Israeli commandos opened fire on activists after coming under attack from people armed with knives and axes.
A demonstration against the storming of the ships is being organized for Monday (May 31) at noon, outside the CBC building at the corner of Georgia and Hamilton streets.
A report on the incident by Al Jazeera English.
You can follow Travis Lupick on Twitter at twitter.com/tlupick.