Three Palestinian survivors of ship which sunk near Malta arrived have safely in the country after Panamanian trade ships came to their rescue.According to Ma’an, Palestinian ambassador in Malta, Jubran Tawil, said in a statement that a Maltese helicopter transported the three survivors to safety, along with several bodies of victims who didn’t survive the wreck.
The survivors have been identified as Mohammad Awadallah, Ibrahim Awadallah, and Mamoun Daghmash. Daghmash is reportedly receiving treatment at a Malta hospital.
Ambassador Tawil has contacted the survivors and arranged for a meeting with them, Tuesday.
Ma’an reports that as many as 500 hopeful migrants are thought to have drowned after traffickers rammed and sank their boat in what the International Organization for Migration has described as ‘the worst shipwreck in years.’
Dozens of African migrants were reported missing and feared dead after their boat sank off the coast of Libya, on Sunday.
‘If this story, which police are investigating, is true, it would be the worst shipwreck in years … not an accident but a mass murder, perpetrated by criminals without scruples or any respect for human life,’ the IOM said in a statement.
According to the survivors, Syrian, Palestinian, Egyptian, and Sudanese migrants set out from Damietta, Egypt, on Sept. 6, and were forced to change boats several times during the crossing into European waters.
The traffickers ordered the migrants onto a smaller vessel, with many of the migrants fearing that it was too small to hold them. When they refused to change boats, the traffickers rammed them until they capsized.
‘Two survivors brought to Sicily told us that there had been at least 500 people on board. Nine other survivors were rescued by Greek and Maltese ships, but all the rest appear to have perished,’ IOM spokesman in Italy, Flavio Di Giacomo, told AFP.
See also: 09/15/14 15 Palestinians Killed When Boatload of Migrants Fleeing Gaza Sinks Near Egyptian Coast
09/09/14 Thousands Fleeing Gaza By Any Means