Swedish crime novelist Henning Mankell, who travelled in the Gaza aid flotilla, has urged global sanctions on Israel after the deadly strike on the convoy.
Mankell said sanctions against Israel would put pressure on the country to lift the naval blockade on Gaza just as sanctions against South Africa had contributed to the dismantling of the apartheid regime in that country.
“I think we should use the experience of South Africa, where we know that the sanctions had a great impact. It took time, but they had an impact,” Mankell said in a TV clip on Swedish tabloid Expressen’s Web site.
The best-selling writer, who had been travelling in the aid convoy aboard the Swedish ship Sofia, also said that there were no weapons on the ships.
“I can promise there was not a single weapon aboard the ships,” he told an Expressen reporter who was returning to Sweden with him after the writer had been deported by Israel.
When the reporter told him that nine people had died in the Israeli strike, he replied, “No, I had no idea – we had heard that nine maybe were injured.”
Mankell, whose books about the gloomy inspector Kurt Wallander have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, was one of 11 Swedes travelling in the aid convoy.
The Foreign Ministry in Stockholm said all 11 Swedes were safe and accounted for, although one was slightly injured.
Six Swedes were arrested and at least four were deported, the ministry said.
The government summoned Israel’s ambassador to Sweden to demand an explanation for the attack, which it called “completely unacceptable.”