325 activists to be flown home

Turkish planes to deport nationals; 124 Muslims cross border.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM STAFF
June 2, 2010 12:32
1 minute read.
Anti-Israel demo in Turkey

Anti-Israel demo in Turkey 311. (photo credit: AP)

A total of 315 activists from the Mavi Marmara ship have been transferred from the Ela Prison in Beersheba to Ben Gurion International Airport and are slated to be deported Wednesday.

Three Turkish planes have touched down, and plan to return their nationals to Turkey.

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Dozens of pro-Palestinian activists detained in the Israeli raid on the Gaza aid flotilla arrived in Jordan on Wednesday after being deported from Israel, Jordanian officials said.

The 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.

The bridge's Jordanian chief, Brig. Mahmoud Abu Jumaa, said Jordan would 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.

Israel won't prosecute flotilla participants

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu decided that Israel would not prosecute or continue to hold the flotilla participants. His decision followed a cabinet discussion on the release, which was set to resume Wednesday.

The entire deportation process was expected to take about 48 hours.

Detainees refusing to return to their countries will be brought before a court of law which will decide whether to deport them.


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