Israel returns writer’s bag…full of women’s clothes

A Swedish novelist could be excused for getting his knickers in a twist after he received his confiscated bag back from the Israeli government, only to find it full of women’s clothes. Henning Mankell had his belongings seized in June when Israeli troops raided the Gaza-bound ship he was travelling on. He has since had his bag returned, but to his surprise, he found most of his possessions had been replaced with female attire.

Mankell was told by Turkish Airlines that his belongings were ready for collection from Gothenburg Landvetter Airport on Thursday. On opening his bag, however, the writer found his hat and wallet were the only familiar items to remain. According to YLE, a TV script for a series about his father-in-law Ingmar Bergman, his mobile phone, a stereo and a notebook were all missing.

Mankell has denied acting like a proverbial big girl’s blouse in the face of the grave consequences of the raids, but told Svenska Dagbladet, “I want to know where the rest of my belongings are and why they have sent me women’s clothes.” He added that he will be writing to Sweden’s Israeli ambassador and demanding an explanation.

Mankell was travelling with a humanitarian aid project on the Ship to Gaza convoy when it was boarded by Israeli soldiers as it attempted to break the military-imposed blockade of Gaza. Up to 16 people were killed in the action and many have been imprisoned by Israeli authorities.

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