Israel says it will deport 15 activists whose boat was intercepted by Israeli naval commandoes as it was trying to break Gaza Strip’s blockade.
The spokeswoman for Israel’s immigration service said that all the 15 passengers with various nationalities will be sent back to their countries.
"The 15 passengers were interviewed on Tuesday evening by our services and have voluntarily agreed to sign a document saying that they are ready to leave in 72 hours," Sabine Hadad told AFP.
The activists were taken into Israeli custody on Tuesday as their small French boat was heading for the impoverished coastal sliver from Greece.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told reporters in al-Quds (Jerusalem) on Monday that Israel would intercept the boat if it “tries a provocative act.”
Israeli commandoes boarded the boat and sailed it along with its passengers to the southern port of Ashdod. A Ha’aretz reporter who was accompanying the activists was released soon after the boat reached Ashdod.
The Dignite/Al Karama left Greek waters on Saturday evening, telling coast guards that it was heading towards the Egyptian port of Alexandria.
The mission of Freedom Flotilla II to break the Israeli siege on Gaza was not accomplished after the Greek government imposed a ban on the departure of any ship planning to set sail for Gaza Strip.
A similar aid convoy, named Freedom Flotilla I, was attacked by the Israeli military in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea in May last year.
Nine Turkish nationals aboard the Turkish-flagged MV Mavi Marmara were killed and about 50 other activists injured.