Malaysia seeking release of doctor detained by Israel en route to Gaza

Dr Fauziah Hasan and 12 other female volunteers were on the Women's Boat to Gaza mission on board the Zaytouna-Oliva boat when they were detained by Israel Defence Forces.
Dr Fauziah Hasan and 12 other female volunteers were on the Women's Boat to Gaza mission on board the Zaytouna-Oliva boat when they were detained by Israel Defence Forces. PHOTO: THE STAR / ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (The Star/Asia News Network) - Malaysia's foreign ministry said on Thursday (Oct 6) it was seeking to secure the release of a Malaysian female doctor who was on board an aid ship detained by Israeli forces off the Gaza coast on Wednesday.

Dr Fauziah Hasan and 12 other female volunteers were on the Women's Boat to Gaza mission on board the Zaytouna-Oliva boat when they were detained by Israel Defence Forces and taken to the port of Ashdod in Israel.

"Currently, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are in communication and contact with several parties to ensure the safety and well-being of the Malaysian involved in the incident," Wisma Putra said in a statement on Thursday.

It said efforts were being taken to secure the early release of Dr Fauziah, who is part of the group heading to Gaza to offer humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people.

It is unclear what steps were being taken. Malaysia does not have formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

Dr Fauziah is a consultant at the Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital in Kuala Lumpur and is on the board of trustees of Humanitarian Care Malaysia (MyCare).

In videos uploaded to YouTube by the Women's Boat To Gaza initiative on Wednesday night, Dr Fauziah said she was being "detained illegally by the Israeli regime".

"I am right now being detained illegally by the Israeli regime. I appeal to all the world leaders, the people of Malaysia and the Government of Malaysia and all peace-loving people throughout the world to exert all action to release us from this illegal detention by the Israeli regime" said Dr Fauziah in the video.

Her video was among several others featuring crewmembers of the boat uploaded on YouTube, which are believed to have been pre-recorded.

Women's Boat To Gaza said on its official website that the other volunteers onboard included Ms Mairead Maguire, the 1976 Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland

"On board are 13 women, including Mairead Maguire, the 1976 Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland, Fauziah Hasan, a doctor from Malaysia, and retired US army colonel Ann Wright," said Women's Boat To Gaza.