Shin Bet Detains Left-wing Israeli Activist to Glean Intel on Gaza-bound Flotilla

The woman was held at Ben-Gurion Airport, then ordered to report to a police station where she was questioned about flotilla activists.

Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson
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Israeli activist Reut Mor on board a 2012 flotilla to Gaza. Mor was detained by the Shin Bet security service upon returning from a vacation in Greece earlier this week.
Israeli activist Reut Mor on board a 2012 flotilla to Gaza. Mor was detained by the Shin Bet security service upon returning from a vacation in Greece earlier this week.Credit: Flotilla coalition
Chaim Levinson
Chaim Levinson

The Shin Bet security service detained a left-wing activist at Ben-Gurion Airport earlier this week upon her return from a vacation in Greece in an apparent attempt to glean information about Israelis planning to join the Gaza-bound Freedom Flotilla set to leave Greece any day.

Reut Mor, a Jaffa resident, was on the Finnish ship Estelle that in October 2012 sought to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip and was intercepted by the Israel Defense Forces en route. During the elections earlier this year she had served as a spokesperson for Hadash, one of the parties that merged to form the Arab Joint List.

Earlier this month she flew to Greece for a vacation and returned on Sunday. “When I got off the plane they detained me for over an hour,” she said. “Afterwards I was called to a side room where a Ben-Gurion security officer handed me a summons to appear at the Yarkon police station (in Tel Aviv), which didn’t say anything except to ask for Rona. I asked her what this was about and she said, ‘I’m sure you know.’”

“Rona” is the pseudonym of the Shin Bet coordinator responsible for gathering information from left-wing activists in Israel.

Mor said that she went to the police station on Monday accompanied by her lawyer, and met with "Rona" and another unidentified woman.

“They started to ask me why I had gone to Greece and what I had done in Greece. I told them I’d been on vacation. They said, ‘It wasn’t connected to the flotilla? We know that you were on the Estelle.’ I told them that was no secret, it’s my cover photo on Facebook.

“From there it transitioned into a wide range of questions about what I did in the army, about the Combatants for Peace movement for which I’d served as spokesperson eight years ago. I was asked if I was in touch with flotilla activists, if I knew about Israelis [involved]. I told them yes, that I’d heard on the news that [Joint Arab List MK] Basel Ghattas was planning to join the flotilla.

“Most of the questions did not deal with the flotilla,” Mor added. “They asked me my views on Zionism, how I view IDF soldiers, what I thought of BDS. I was asked if I still work with the Arab Joint List. I explained that I’m an independent media consultant, so Rona asked me who my clients are. I told her that was a political question, that flotillas don’t threaten Israeli security, that it’s an international campaign aimed at raising awareness of the situation in Gaza which is why it’s conducted openly, to create as much publicity as possible. I told her about the violence I experienced from IDF soldiers on the Estelle, and that I hope this time they’ll be smart enough not to use violence. Rona said she hopes we remember that we are all interested in the good of the State of Israel.”

Mor was released without being told anything.

The Shin Bet could not be reached for comment.

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