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Flotilla activists sent packing from Israel

JTA

July 20, 2011 | 1:30 pm

Supporters of the flotilla to Gaza participate in a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Rome, Italy, on May 14, 2011. (Lucian via CC)

Supporters of the flotilla to Gaza participate in a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Rome, Italy, on May 14, 2011. (Lucian via CC)

The activists aboard the lone Gaza-bound flotilla ship intercepted by Israel were deported.

Some 15 activists, journalists and crew members were deported throughout the day Wednesday, a day after the French-flagged Dignity al-Karama was boarded by Israeli commandos near Gaza waters and towed to Israel’s Ashdod port. One activist was an Israeli journalist and was not deported.

The ship reportedly had declared a port in Egypt as its final destination in order to be able to leave Greek waters. At least seven other flotilla ships were detained and remain in Greek ports for safety violations.

The Dignity was carrying about 10 French and Greek activists, as well as three journalists and three crew members.

After boarding the ship, Israeli troops checked the condition of the passengers and offered them food and drink, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The passengers were turned over to officials from the Israel Police, the Immigration and Population Authority and the Interior Ministry. Because they are being deported they could be denied entrance to Israel for the next ten years.

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