VIDEO - Hours after the bloody clashes during the IDF's takeover, Turkey's "Mavi Marmara" ship arrived at the Ashdod Port and was tied to the military pier.
Some 500 pro-Palestinian activists from around the world, who were not injured during the IDF raid, are on board the ship. After the vessel safely docks in the port the activists will be permitted to leave the ship. Some will leave Israel and those who refuse will be transferred to the Beersheba detention center.
IDF Spokesman Avi Benayahu explained, "We are slowly taking down the Marmara ship's passengers. There are nearly 600 people of 38 different countries. We are doing this carefully while checking the people's luggage and the ship's equipment."
Benayahu added, "We have time, we shall slowly get everybody down in small groups and hold checks. We have commenced searches on the ships mid sea in case any of them contained explosives.'
Meanwhile, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit released footage (below) from the raid, in which soldiers are seen boarding the boat by rope from helicopters and then being severely beaten with metal rods by the passengers.
IDF video showing attack on soldiers boarding 'Mavi Marmara'
The ship's captains decided to independently steer it to one of the civilian piers but were ordered by soldiers to withdraw and park the vessel with a Navy escort. Dozens of IDF soldiers are onboard the ship's bridge deck while most of the passengers are concentrated in the vessel's rear.
Mavi Marmara arriving in Ashdod (Photo: Avi Rokach)
Southern Command Chief Yoav Galant and Navy Commander Eliezer Marom waited for the ship at the port. Also present are army and police forces, including the police's special unit as well as Prison Service vehicles.
According to sources at the site there will be a delay in the passengers' removal from the ship as they will only be permitted to leave one at a time, and then escorted by several officers and soldiers into a border control station. After the passengers are identified and sorted according to nationality they will be transferred to a tent area set up at the site, which contains 20 tents according to the various nationalities.
Escorting another ship's activist (Photo: Amos Ben Gershon, GPO)
There they will be questioned by security forces before being transferred to the Ela Prison in Beersheba.
A source in the Ashdod Port described the scene, "The soldiers boarded the ship and pairs of soldiers took the passengers down one by one. Female soldiers also participated in some of the cases. The passengers couldn't stop cursing and spitting at the soldiers, who on their part kept their cool and just transferred them to the tent compound. Whoever required medical attention was given it."
MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) arrived at the site in an effort to closely monitor the passengers' arrival.
Several foreign representatives tried to enter the site but were denied access by security forces. Meanwhile, passengers of the other flotilla ships who previously surrendered without resistance are making their way to the Beersheba prison on buses.
The condition of two IDF soldiers who sustained serious injuries during the takeover has improved Monday. Two other soldiers who were hospitalized earlier were discharged. Currently five combatants are admitted in hospitals: four in moderate condition and one in light condition. More than 30 of the sail activists are also hospitalized in Israeli medical centers.
According to the IDF nine people were killed during the takeover whereas the sail's organizers continue to maintain that at least 15 were killed.
It was cleared for publication Tuesday that 50 combatants of the Border Guard's riot control unit assisted the Navy fighters in seizing the ship.
Amnon Meranda, Ilana Curiel and Shmulik Grossman contributed to this report