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A Greek plane carrying 35 activists from the Gaza

A Greek plane carrying 35 activists from the Gaza

Plane carrying 35 mostly Greek activists from Gaza flotilla arrives in Athens

By The Associated Press (CP)

ATHENS, Greece — A Greek plane carrying 35 activists from the Gaza-bound aid flotilla landed at a military airport near Athens early Thursday.

The military aircraft brought 31 Greeks, 3 French and one US national released by Israeli authorities, the Air Force said.

They were welcomed at Elefsina airport by more than a hundred relatives and supporters, who cheered and shouted pro-Palestinian slogans. Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and Greek lawmakers were also at the airport.

Israel met with international condemnation after its commandos stormed a six-ship aid flotilla Monday in international waters, killing nine activists and wounding dozens.

Greeks on the ships have said commandos assaulted and electrocuted them during the attack, even though they put up no resistance. They also accuse Israeli authorities of beating activists in custody, subjecting them to psychological torture and sleep deprivation.

The U.S. activist, Paul Larudee, 64, of California, said he was beaten.

“I have no broken bones, which is better than most,” he told The Associated Press. “But there is not a spot of my body that is not sore.”

Larudee, who bore evident signs of bruising, said he was beaten after refusing to sign papers demanded by Israeli officials.

Six more Greek activists returned Tuesday.

Later Thursday, pro-Palestinian activists are planning a protest march to the Israeli embassy in Athens.

Athens Airport

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