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Israel Rejects Nobel Laureate’s Deportation Appeal

Israel’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal by an Irish Nobel laureate who was refused entry to Israel because of her involvement in a Gaza-bound flotilla.

The high court made its ruling Monday evening on Mairead Maguire, who was detained last week at Ben Gurion Airport and threatened with deportation.

Maguire, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her efforts to fight the sectarian violence in her native Northern Ireland, was banned from entering Israel for 10 years following her participation in a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last June. At the time she signed a document agreeing not to enter Israel again without a special permit, Haaretz reported.

The three Supreme Court justices, including President Dorit Beinisch, found that Maguire arrived in Israel despite knowing that she had been banned from entering the country. She told the court that she was not aware of the ban.

Maguire had arrived in Israel last week to meet a group of women touring Israel and Palestinian areas to learn about the work of female peace activists. She has been held in an Israeli detention center ever since as the court heard her appeals to be allowed to enter the country.

The state rejected a proposal by Benisch that would have allowed Maguire to remain in Israel until Wednesday in order to keep her scheduled meeting with the group of peace activists.

During Monday’s hearing, Maguire called on Israel to stop practicing “apartheid” against the Palestinians, which led one of the justices to tell her that the court “is no place for propaganda.”

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