Evacuating injured to Rambam
Photo: Avishag Shaar Yeshuv

Turkey sends jets to evacuate injured activists

Ynet learns two Turkish military jets landed at Ben Gurion Airport to transport activists injured in deadly takeover of Gaza-bound aid flotilla

Turkey sent two military jets to evacuate the activists injured in the takeover of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla, Ynet learned on Tuesday. There are currently 37 activists being treated in Israeli hospitals. In total, 679 activists were detained, and dozens have already been deported.


The Turkish government did not take Turkish Airlines up on its offer to transport the injured, and decided to take full responsibility for bringing them home.


A Turkish military jet landed at the Haifa airport Tuesday afternoon. The airport's manager, Yossi Glassberg, told Ynet the jet contained 11 crew members and medical crew.


"They received fine treatment here, coffee, fax services. After consulting with their consulates, they took off for Ben Gurion Airport," he said. Glassberg added that another plane meant to land in Haifa instead went directly to Ben Gurion International Airport.


Six soldiers who were injured in the incident are still hospitalized at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa and the Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, and their conditions are improving. Two soldiers are in moderate condition, and the rest are in light condition.


Meanwhile, 33 foreign nationals were still hospitalized on Tuesday - four of them in serious condition, and the rest in light to moderate condition. The foreign activists are receiving treatment in hospitals in Haifa, Tel Hashomer, Petah Tikva and Jerusalem.


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Most of the inured activists are Turkish citizens, and the rest are citizens of Great Britain, Australia, Indonesia and the Palestinian Authority. Fifteen foreign activists were discharged from Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, after being hospitalized there on Monday.


One of the hospitals reported that several of the patients refused to receive treatment.


Rambam hospital said the six foreigners it was treating were still under observation and could not be released.


Representatives of the Red Cross in Turkey landed in Israel on Tuesday to help transport the injured to their countries of origin.


Ali Arkul, one of the Turkish representatives said upon his arrival, "We are working with Magen David Adom in order to facilitate the transfer".


Dudi Abadi, a coordinator for Magen David Adom, met the Turkish representatives at the airport. "They arrived here in coordination with the Turkish embassy to check on the injured and look into the possibility of bringing some of them home."


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had harsh words of criticism for Israel on Tuesday, and, in a speech before the parliament in Ankara, urged Israel to immediately release the injured and detained activists.


"Now Israel has shown to all the world how well it knows how to kill," he said. "People were killed and badly wounded, some from shots, even when bound. How human is this? There is no other way of explaining this to the world. All states condemn it, but this is not enough, we need results. People around the world need to know that one day justice will be revealed. If Israel does not immediately free all the detainees and wounded, the rift in relations with it will widen."


Initial information received via Red Email


Yoav Zitun, Meital Yasur Beit-Or, Ahiya Raved and Eli Senyor contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 06.01.10, 16:37
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