x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Israel to expel aid ship activists

All activists and crew on board the Rachel Corrie aid ship which tried to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza will be expelled from Israel today.

All activists and crew on board the Rachel Corrie aid ship which tried to run the Israeli blockade of Gaza would be expelled from Israel today, an Israeli immigration official said. "Everyone on board the boat will be expelled on Sunday after they signed a waiver renouncing their right to appeal to an Israeli judge," said Sabine Haddad. She said six Malaysian nationals and a Cuban would leave Israel through the Allenby crossing into Jordan, while the remaining 11 people would fly out of Israel from Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv.

Immigration officials earlier said the process had been delayed after the five Irish nationals, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, had initially refused to sign the waiver. Israeli forces intercepted and seized control of the Rachel Corrie on Saturday as it tried to reach the Gaza Strip, without the use of force as on Monday when nine people were killed commandos stormed an aid flotilla.

The Irish-owned 1,200-tonne vessel was escorted into the southern Israeli port of Ashdod, and the activists and crew were taken to the Holon immigration centre near Tel Aviv for questioning. *AFP