Israel expels all activists by midweek

Israel on June 2 was deporting the last of the nearly 700 foreign activists detained in a raid on a flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, ordered everyone be deported after deciding not to prosecute any of the activists taken into custody during the May 31 raid.

Officials had earlier said they were considering prosecuting about 50 people believed to be involved in violence, but Weinstein wrote in his order June 2 that “keeping them here would do more damage to the country’s vital interests than good.”

In total, 679 flotilla activists from six ships were detained by Israel. Sixteen refused to identify themselves, hampering the deportation process, and detainees refusing to return to their countries were to be brought before a court of law.

On June 2, approximately 125 activists from 12 Muslim nations crossed the Allenby Bridge into Jordan aboard five Jordanian buses. Those activists came from Jordan, Kuwait, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan and other countries.

Other activists were transferred from the Ela Prison in Beersheba to Ben Gurion International Airport and were slated to fly home June 2. — jta, & ap