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Detainees on bus Photo: Avi Moalem
Detainees on bus Photo: Avi Moalem
 
 

Flotilla passengers attack immigration officers

Young European women curse, push, and slap officers accompanying them to airport for deportation

Yael Branovsky
Published: 06.02.10, 20:12 / Israel News

Thirteen female European activists, arrested for their participation in the flotilla to Gaza, attacked Immigration Authority officers escorting them to the airport for their deportation, the Interior Ministry reported Wednesday.

 

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Despite the calm that ensued following Monday's violence aboard the Turkish vessel Marmara, the Immigration Authority claims some of the activists detained in Israel have been instigating clashes with the authorities.

 

The ministry said the young women began to riot in the police bus conveying them to the airport. "They yelled and cursed," said an officer of the authority's Oz unit.

 

"They called us names and cursed Israel. When we arrived at Ben Gurion International Airport, two of them attacked me screaming, tried to push me, slap me, and scratch me. They yelled, 'free Palestine' and 'Israel is a terror state'. They only calmed down after an entire team apprehended them."

 

The officer said he was especially hurt by the behavior because Oz, the Prison Service, and the police had treated the flotilla activists so kindly since their arrival. "We gave them excellent, considerate, and respectful service. We took care of all of their needs," he said.

 

Surprisingly, Turkish voices have defended this stance. One of the Turkish Red Cross workers who came to Israel in order to care for passengers of the flotilla agreed during a talk with Ynet that injured Turkish
civilians "received excellent service from the medical teams and proper medical care".

 

The worker, who is currently awaiting the arrival of 20 Turkish patients at the airport for their deportation, said a number of seriously injured citizens would remain in Israel for a few days until their condition improved.

 

Yoav Zitun contributed to this report

 

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