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Israel to deport aid activists

Israel to deport aid activists
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Israel says it is to deport the group of activists detained for trying to send an aid ship to Gaza, defying the Israeli blockade.

The Nobel Prize winner Mairead Maguire, ten other activists and eight crew members have been taken to Tel Aviv airport. They are due to be expelled today.

The Rachel Corrie ship was boarded without resistance yesterday by Israeli commandos in international waters.

Israel says it will transfer all of the aid it deems acceptable into Gaza.

“We have no conflict with those peace activists, we are simply trying to protect ourselves from the smuggling of arms and weapons into Gaza,” said government minister Isaac Herzog. He added that if the Israelis let one boat through, it might open the floodgates resulting in weapons reaching the Palestinian territory.

According to one Israeli source, the UN Secretary General is proposing a multinational commission of inquiry into last week’s deadly raid by Israeli forces on a flotilla of aid ships bound for Gaza. Nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed.

Reports say the panel would include representatives from Israel, Turkey – under whose flag the ship sailed – and the United States.