Israel starts jailing and deporting activists

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Israel starts jailing and deporting activists

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Israel has begun deporting or jailing the hundreds of international activists arrested after the storming of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla.

With the number of dead now reported to be at least nine, Israel says 50 activists have been voluntarily deported.

However, some 630 people have refused. They are in jail while charges are considered. Some 30 activists remain in hospital. Most of the dead are reported to be from Turkey, where the mission was organised.

Amid international condemnation of the Israeli raid, the government released its own video of the event.

Adding their own indications and writing on the video, Israeli officials argue that soldiers acted in self-defence when attacked by activists.

The botched operation has been heavily criticised, however, with calls for an inquiry into why Israel thought it was a good idea to drop armed commandos onto the ships.

One Turkish activist and crew member, who has arrived back in Istanbul, said: “When we arrived on deck, they emerged from helicopters and military boats and attacked us. They approached our vessel with military ships after issuing a warning six times . We told them we were unarmed. Our only weapon was water.”

As pro-Israel rallies took place in front of the Turkish embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel says it is ready to intercept another aid ship sailing towards Gaza.