Rachel Corrie enters Ashdod Port
Photo: Avi Rokach

Official: Detained foreign activists civilized, polite

Irish Nobel peace laureate eats dinner with Israeli inspectors, who laud civilized conduct of activists detained on board Rachel Corrie ship

The 19 foreign activists on board the seized Rachel Corrie ship were taken Saturday evening for an interrogation at an Immigration Authority facility in Holon, just south of Tel Aviv.


The activists underwent an interrogation in an effort to clarify their citizenship. All 19 of them have agreed to be expelled from Israel Sunday. 


One of the activists, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Maguire, ate her dinner along with Immigration officials. Following her interrogation she was smiling and recalled memories of her previous sail to Israel, about 10 months ago.


Activists en route to interrogation (Photo: Dudu Azoulay)


Immigration Authority officials said the activists are "very quiet and are cooperating."


Immigration official Yossi Edelstein told Ynet that the activists in the latest ship were much friendlier and cooperative than previous activists. However, he said it was clear they too arrived in order to create a provocation, and said nothing about the humanitarian aid they were bringing in during their interrogation."


"Today it was much easier. People were much more polite and did not attempt any violent provocations," he said. "Some of them, like the Filipinos who were part of the crew, didn't really understand why they're here."


"They came off the boat and arrived to us in a civilized manner, did not riot, and did not swear at our inspectors or looked at them with hatred in their eyes," the official said. "Compared to the previous people they were very calm."


Activists praised by officials (Photo: Dudu Azoulay)


Following the interrogations, which are expected to end Sunday, the activists will be expelled back to their countries of origin.


In the previous Gaza-bound flotilla, 16 of the roughly 700 activists on board the Marmara were not identified. Three activists who took part in the previous sail, an Indonesian and two Uzbekistan nationals, are also expected to leave Israel tomorrow.


The Rachel Corrie ship entered the Ashdod Port Saturday afternoon accompanied by Navy ships. Earlier Saturday, Navy commandoes raided the commandeered the ship in a peaceful operation and without any injuries. A senior IDF official said that activists on the ship displayed no resistance and even offered a ladder to the soldiers.


Amnon Meranda contributed to the story


פרסום ראשון: 06.05.10, 22:06
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