THE nightmare is over.
Honley’s Paveen Yaqub is believed to have been among a group of activists aboard a coach which left Israel’s Be’er Sheva prison yesterday afternoon.
And the 39-year-old, seized in the Gaza flotilla raid by Israeli troops, is expected to be reunited with her family today.
Younger sister Nosheen told the Examiner the family are “relieved” after hearing Paveen’s voice in a short call she was allowed to make home from prison.
Nosheen said: “My brother spoke to her on the phone.
“She said she was safe and hoping to be home depending on the Israeli government going through its process.
“I wouldn’t say she was in good spirits, the line was very bad.
“It was just a short call and she said she was safe and well.
“She said she would ring again as soon as she knew.”
Thirty-seven Britons were seized during the raid on an aid flotilla in international waters. Some were released and “deported” yesterday after the Israeli government decided not to prosecute any of the activists.
In total, 679 people were taken prisoner during the Israeli military-led action which saw nine civilians killed after naval commandos stormed an aid convoy bound for Gaza.
At first, Paveen’s family didn’t know whether or not the aid worker had been killed in the sea battle on Monday morning. The next day they heard news she had been taken to an Israeli compound to be questioned.
On Tuesday night Nosheen broke the good news at a Huddersfield Stop The War Coalition meeting that the family had received a phone call from Paveen.
After days with little sleep, Paveen’s six siblings and elderly parents are waiting by the phone for news of Paveen’s arrival back on British soil.
Nosheen, from Oldham, said: “It’s all just so overwhelming and we’re all just on the go constantly.
“I’m exhausted – I’ve just woken up now and I’m dazed.
“It hasn’t been confirmed where she will be flying in to or when.
“It hasn’t been confirmed that she was even on the coach.
“When we find out all the family will be going down there to welcome her home.”
Israel’s actions in seizing an aid flotilla bound for Gaza went “beyond what was warranted or proportionate”, Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement to the Commons.
“We deeply deplore” the loss of life, he said. The UK had joined international calls for a “full, credible, impartial and independent” investigation into the events.