A former Keighley activist was today on hunger strike in an Israeli jail for entering the country despite being blacklisted after she was caught up in an attack on an aid flotilla in which soldiers shot nine people dead.
Paveen Yaqub, 41, remained in an Israeli jail with other campaigners after flying in to Tel Aviv on their way to Bethlehem for a major protest over the alleged “brutality” by Israeli authorities of Palestinian citizens in the West Bank.
The former Greenhead High School pupil, who has family in Keighley, is refusing food as part of a group of women in a detention centre near Tel Aviv, said a spokesman for the campaign group Welcome to Palestine 2010.
Campaign co-ordinator Mick Napier said yesterday: “All the women including Paveen have refused food and insisted on their right to visit Palestine peacefully and proceed to Bethlehem. They’re also refusing food in solidarity with a major Palestinian prisoner hunger strike.
“They still haven’t been told by the Israelis what part of Israel’s penal code they have violated and they’re demanding to be told this.
“They’ve not been charged with any crime.”
Mr Napier said that Miss Yaqub remained in “excellent spirits”.
Miss Yaqub had been deported and blacklisted by the Israeli authorities for being on board the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship in an aid convoy, along with Mohammed Bhiyat of Great Horton, Bradford, when it came under fire from Israeli troops during a mission in 2010.
The attack left nine dead and dozens other injured – and drew condemnation from the international community. She is understood to be imprisoned alongside five other British women.