Chicago Woman Returns from Gaza Incident with Injuries - NBC Chicago

Chicago Woman Returns from Gaza Incident with Injuries

Says she was beaten with a gun butt



    Aid worker caught in deadly incident outside Gaza returns home with minor injuries and resolve. (Published Tuesday, June 8, 2010)

    The Chicago woman who was caught in a deadly incident outside of Gaza last week returned home Sunday with minor injuries and new resolve.

    Fatima Mohammadi was among the 700 activists and aid workers whose flotilla was boarded by Israeli military last week as it tried to penetrate a 3-years-old blockade. She said her group was shocked by the treatment they received, and that Israeli military overreacted by injuring many and killing nine. 

    "There was no warning," Mohammadi, who was hit with the butt of a rifle on her ribs and arms said. "They clearly boarded the boat in international waters. We thought there would be an interference, but nothing like this, which was a violent overreaction."

    She said despite her minor injuries she began crawling around the boat helping to administer first aid to passengers who were worse off.

    “Totally working on automatic," she said.

    Mohammadi, 31, helped organize the flotilla and even gathered medical supplies on board the Mavi Marmara, one of the ships stormed by Israeli commandos as it headed toward the blockade.

    The South Shore resident said there were no weapons aboard the ships, just “lovely wonderful people from around the world.”

    "All we had was what would typically be on a boat," she said. "This was simply a humanitarian trip to help people in desperate, desperate need."

    She and others aboard the six-ship flotilla hope the incident draws more attention to the plight of the Palestinian people.

    "Maybe, maybe this will wake the world up to see that these policies that Israel implements upon innocent civilians are not dissimilar to the ones that they enforce on the Palestinians on a daily basis," Mohammadi said. "What we went through was a microcosm, a few days worth. But I would have happily stayed in detention for weeks and weeks and weeks if it would wake up just a few more people in the world community."