Israel Begins Deporting Activists Captured During Flotilla Raid

Nicaragua Severs Diplomatic Ties with Israel

By Barak Ravid (Haaretz)

Published June 01, 2010.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Israel has begun deporting the first batch of foreign activists seized aboard a six-ship humanitarian aid flotilla seized in an Israel Navy raid en route to the Gaza Strip, the Foreign Ministry said early Wednesday, indicating that the rest of the activists will be escorted out of the country throughout the day.

The decision to deport the hundreds of foreign activists was announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided late Tuesday, in the face of mounting world criticism of Monday’s assault.

Israeli officials said all 680 activists held would be released, including two dozen Israel had threatened earlier to prosecute charging they had assaulted its troops.

According to a Foreign Ministry official, the first busload of Turkish activists had already left the Be’er Sheva jail, in which they were kept, en route to Ben Gurion International Airport, where three Turkish planes were already waiting. More buses were planned to leave Be’er Sheva during the morning hours, thus finalizing the deportation of the Turkish nationals.

In addition, 124 activists from 12 Muslim nations - most of them without diplomatic ties with Israel - crossed the Allenby Bridge aboard five Jordanian buses.

Jordanian government spokesman Nabil Al-Sharif said there were 30 Jordanians in the group. Jordan is one of two Arab nations with a signed peace treaty with Israel.

The bridge’s Jordanian chief, Brig. Mahmoud Abu Jumaa, said Jordan will help repatriate the activists - who include lawmakers and journalists - to their respective countries in coordination with their governments.

Kuwaiti ambassador Sheik Faisal Al Sabah said there were 16 Kuwaitis aboard the buses. They will be flown home aboard a Kuwaiti government-chartered plane later Wednesday, Al Sabah said.

He said the other activists came from Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Yemen, Oman and Bahrain.

Dozens of other activists remain in Israeli detention, but most are expected to be deported in the coming days.

“It was agreed that the detainees would be deported immediately,” Nir Hefez, a spokesman for Netanyahu, said in a written statement to reporters Tuesday. Netanyahu made the decision after consultations with his top ministers.

The activists from Europe, North America, Asia and North Africa were processed in and around Israel’s port of Ashdod on Monday evening, where the six ships of the blockade-running convoy had been escorted after a raid on a Turkish-flagged vessel left nine people dead.

One hundred and twenty of the nearly 700 passengers were transferred Tuesday evening to the border crossing with Jordan, from where they will be returned to their home countries.

The Interior Ministry said 682 activists were ordered deported, and that 45 left on Tuesday, while others were jailed as they challenged the orders, or in hospital being treated for injuries.

Israel gave the following breakdown of countries and numbers of those activists ordered expelled, excluding the nine killed and the seriously wounded in Monday’s raid:

Australia 3; Azerbaijan 2; Italy 6; Indonesia 12; Ireland 9; Algeria 28; United States 11; Bulgaria 2; Bosnia 1; Bahrain 4; Belgium 5; Germany 11; South Africa 1; Holland 2; United Kingdom 31; Greece 38; Jordan 30; Kuwait 15; Lebanon 3; Mauritania 3; Malaysia 11; Egypt 3; Macedonia 3; Morocco 7; Norway 3; New Zealand 1; Syria 3; Serbia 1; Oman 1; Pakistan 3; Czech Republic 4; France 9; Kosovo 1; Canada 1; Sweden 11; Turkey 380; Yemen 4.

Nicaragua severs diplomatic ties with Israel over flotilla raid

Nicaragua has severed its diplomatic ties with Israel over the deadly raid on a Gaza humanitarian aid flotilla earlier in the week, a governmental statement said Wednesday.

In the announcement quoted by Army Radio, the Nicaraguan government said that the “attack on the Gaza-bound shipment is a clear violation of international and humanitarian law.”

Nicaragua’s statement comes two months after Mauritania’s foreign minister announced his country would sever ties with Israel, completing a process that began last year.

Mauritania, an Islamic nation that straddles black and Arab Africa, has stopped “completely and definitely its diplomatic relations with Israel,” Naha Mint Mouknass said in the desert capital Nouakchott.

At one time it was one of only three Arab countries to have full diplomatic relations with Israel, but in March last year Mauritania expelled Israeli representatives and closed the Israeli embassy in Nouakchott. The move came after it froze ties in response to Israel’s attacks on Gaza.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.