Israel transfers hundreds of flotilla activists for questioning

Turkish activists hold a news conference on board the Mavi Marmara ship in the Mediterranean Sea, late Sunday, shortly before Israeli naval commandos stormed their flotilla. File photo   | Photo Credit: Erhan Sevenler

About 480 foreign activists who were stopped by Israel on the high seas while sailing to Gaza were transferred over night to a prison in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.

The activists, detained Monday, would be interrogated and then law-enforcement authorities would decide whether each one would be deported or legal action would be taken, the radio station said.

Another 48 activists had already been transported to Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv to be expelled abroad.

Meanwhile, about 45 people, mostly Turks, remained hospitalized throughout Israel, including in Tel Aviv, the northern city of Haifa and the southern coastal city of Ashkelon, the radio said.

Two of the eight ships of the intercepted aid convoy, dubbed the Freedom Flotilla, were not among the six vessels overtaken by Israeli naval commandos in international waters early Monday and were still expected to head to Gaza this week.

The Israeli takeover turned violent, and Israeli soldiers shot dead nine activists while dozens were injured, sparking worldwide condemnation.

Seven Israeli soldiers were injured when, according to footage by the Israeli military, activists on board the Turkish ship Marmara attacked the Israeli commandos with iron rods and chairs. The Israeli military also accused the activists of opening fire on the troops.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 12:29:33 AM |

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