Former Cowichan MP Released from Israeli Custody
A former MP from the Cowichan-Nanaimo region has been released from detention in Israel four days after the ship Estelle was intercepted in waters off the Gaza Strip.
Jim Manly was with a group of European lawmakers and activists attempting to breach the years-long blockade when they were taken into custody by Israeli forces Oct 20.
Paul Manly said his father agreed to sign a waiver saying he would not appeal his case, so he was released and was on his way back to Canada Tuesday afternoon.
Manly told SunFM News that the experience has motivated him to catch up on his reading and learn more about what’s going on in that part of the Middle East.
“It’s forced me to read a lot of these UN reports about what’s going on in Gaza so that I can speak for my father while he’s in prison, and I’m appalled at the things that I’ve read.”
Several United Nations agencies are calling for an end to the blockade at Gaza, which Israel says aims to stop weapons from being transported to Hamas. In the process, critics say the blockade prevent necessary food and medical supplies from getting to Palestinians.
“It’s really sad what’s happening in Gaza and I’m proud of my father for stepping up and taking this stand, and I’m glad he’s coming home,” Manly said.
Jim Manly was a New Democrat MP in the 1980s for the then-riding of Cowichan-Malahat-the Islands. He’s also a retired United Church minister.
Manly said his father is expected to land at Pearson International Airport on Oct. 24 and then is planning to return to Nanaimo by Oct 25.