Osama Qashoo arrives safely in Turkey

Detained film-maker arrives safely in Turkey

Detained film-maker arrives safely in Turkey

First published in News by

THE "remarkable" young documentary maker from Wood Green who was detained following Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla has arrived in Istanbul.

Osama Qashoo arrived safely in Turkey today, but it remains unclear how he will continue his journey to the UK.

He is among 682 detainees held by the Israelis, most of whom have now been deported.

His family have been on hunger strike since Monday's raid after hearing no news about Mr Qashoo's wellbeing until today.

The 28-year-old post-graduate documentary maker was forced to leave Palestine in 2005 after organising peaceful protests against the West Bank wall.

Dick Fontaine, head of the National Film and Television School documentary department, helped organise the teenager's passage to the UK.

Speaking to the Haringey Independent today, he said: "He is remarkable, a real activist and a real film-maker, which is a rare combination.

"He is a substantial film-maker, a great person with unbelievable energy and commitment, and he is a credit to Palestine and to our film school.

"What happened is totally appalling. Osama is a non-violent activist. The Israelis are living in their own fantasy, which is incredibly self-destructive.

"It is madness, a mad spiral downwards."

Mr Qashoo made several films about his homeland while a student at the college, including My Olive Tree, which helped convince the Trade Union Congress to organise a passage for Palestinian olive oil to Europe, bypassing Israel.

A member of the Free Gaza movement, he was one of 42 Britons detained after Monday’s attack by Israel on the Freedom Flotilla mission to the blockaded Gaza Strip.

He was a passenger on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, where at least nine passengers were shot dead by Israeli soldiers in international waters.

Israel has identified four of the nine people who died as Turkish nationals, but the identity of the five others is unknown.

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