One of the passengers onboard the Finnish flotilla intercepted yesterday [Oct. 20] by the Israeli navy commando unit was 35-year-old Israeli-born Elik Elhanan, who lost his sister in a suicide bombing at the Ben-Yehuda pedestrian mall in Jerusalem in 1997.
Former Israeli soldier Elik Elhanan, who lost his sister to a 1997 suicide-bomb attack in Israel, was among the activists protesting the Gaza blockade on the Finnish ship seized by IDF on Saturday. He received the full support of his family, reports Matan Tsuri.
Yedioth Ahronoth (Israel)
Among the flotilla activists: an Israeli who had lost his sister to terror
October 21, 2012
October 23 2012
Elik’s parents, Rami and Nurit Elhanan, were waiting from him yesterday at the entrance to the port of Ashdod. Later in the day, they waited for hours outside the police station in the city to hear news of their son, one of the three left-wing Israeli activists aboard the Finnish vessel together with Re’ut Mor and former Israeli air force pilot Yonatan Shapira.
A doctoral student of Yiddish literature at Columbia University who spends most of his time in the US, Elik is the grandson of the late Maj. Gen. Mati Peled and an alumnus of an elite reconnaissance unit. Elhanan and his relatives have long been advocates of Palestinian rights in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
Two years ago, his father, Rami, took part in a similar protest flotilla aboard the vessel Irene. His mother, professor Nurit Peled Elhanan, has won the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The family’s life has been marred by a tragedy. Their daughter, Smadar, was only 14 when she was killed.
“We hope he’s OK,” the Elhanans said at the entrance to the port of Ashdod.
“Elik was brought up on values of equal rights and freedom of the individual, which is why it’s very important to him to do whatever it takes so that the State of Israel lifts the sea blockade on Gaza. We support and encourage him.” Yesterday evening, the family demonstrated outside the police station, protesting that no information about their son had been given to them.