Saturday 24 February 2018

Parents 'knew the risks' and pray for son's return

Ralph Riegel

THE family of an Irishman detained by Israel following a commando operation against an aid convoy told last night how they are praying for his safe return home.

Dr Fintan Lane has refused to be deported by Israel -- and is now demanding he be brought before a court in relation to his controversial seizure while on an aid vessel in international waters.

His Cork-based parents, Jim and Maura Lane, said everyone -- including Fintan -- knew the potential risks associated with the high-profile convoy to Gaza.

"We did (realise the risks). My wife and I knew he was going there -- we are both supportive of that campaign that he is involved in, the Palestinian Solidarity Movement. We are politically motivated in that sense," Mr Lane added.

"We know what these things are all about -- certainly the risk that they may contain," he added.

But the family revealed they faced every parent's worst nightmare yesterday as they awaited news of their son's fate.

The Lane family received a call at their Togher Road home at 5am to say Israeli commandos has stormed the aid convoy -- and that a number of aid volunteers had been shot dead in the resulting confrontation.

It wasn't until 9am that they were informed Fintan was not on the Turkish vessel MV Marmara, which was stormed, and that he was safe and well en route to Ashdod in Israel.

He has since been transferred to Be'er Sheeba where he remains in custody with the other Irish aid volunteers.

Fintan -- who is an historian and writer -- now faces the prospect of spending weeks in an Israeli jail while he awaits a court appearance.

Mr Lane yesterday endorsed Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin's view that his son was effectively kidnapped on the high seas -- and has demanded that Israel bow to international pressure to allow aid into Gaza.

Dr Lane -- who has been based in Dublin over recent years -- was one of eight Irish nationals detained by Israeli commandos on Monday when they boarded a flotilla of aid vessels some 40km off the Gaza coast while in international waters.

The Israeli authorities have offered immediate repatriation to those willing to be voluntarily deported. Dr Lane was last night scheduled to meet with the Irish Embassy officials about his situation.

However, Dr Lane is demanding due legal process before an Israeli court and has refused to be voluntarily deported.

Irish Independent

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