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Local Non-Profit Reports Human Rights Observers Abducted


A non-profit organization working for Palestinian human rights with local headquarters in El Cerrito reported that three of its human rights observers were abducted early Tuesday morning by the Israeli Navy. Paul Larudee, a human rights activist with the northern California chapter of the International Solidarity Movement, said that one of the international observers was from San Jose.“The unusual part about this is that this is the first time anyone has been abducted at sea,” he said.

Larudee is co-founder of the northern California chapter of the ISM and a part-time piano technician from El Cerrito.

The three observers, who were volunteers with ISM, as well as fifteen Palestinian fishermen were reportedly taken from their fishing boats in Gaza waters, seven miles off the coast of Deir Al Balah, Gaza Strip. Some news organizations are reporting this as illegal action by the Israeli Navy.

Larudee said that the international observers (from San Jose, Scotland and Italy) were being held in a detention center within Israel, and that their embassies had been in touch with them. “As far as I know, they have not been charged with anything,” he said.

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