Hundreds of foreign activists have started to be released from an Israeli prison after they were seized during a commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.
In the face of mounting world criticism of the attack in which at least nine people died, the Israeli government said it was deporting all 680 campaigners.
“We don’t want to see foreign activists in an Israeli detention centre and so we decided to speed up the process of deportation and our hope is to have all these activists out of the country within 48 hours,“said government spokesman Mark Regev.
Those being freed include the two dozen who had previously been threatened with prosecution for allegedly assaulting Israeli troops.
Some of the nationals from 42 countries were bussed over the Israeli border into Jordan in the early hours of the morning.
A few activists had already been flown out, while others are recovering in hospital from injuries sustained in the confrontation.