Israel has begun deporting about 250 people detained after its commandos seized a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in an assault that took the lives of nine activists, Israeli army radio said. About 120 people, mostly Algerians and Indonesians were about to cross the land border into Jordan, while 60 Turks were at Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, awaiting special flights home, said the report. Another 70 Turkish citizens were on their way from prison to the airport, the radio said.
Of the 682 people from 42 countries aboard the six ships that were towed to an Israeli port after Monday's bloody raid, 45 were flown out Monday and Tuesday. But things moved into higher gear after a late-night session of Israel's inner security cabinet voted to get rid of those remaining within 48 hours. "It was agreed that the detainees would be expelled immediately according to the procedures set by law," said a government statement issued late on Tuesday night.