Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Israel deports Tunisia ex-president after Gaza flotilla


JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel deported Tunisian ex-president Moncef Marzouki and European parliament member Ana Miranda on Monday after they took part in a flotilla seeking to defy its Gaza blockade, an official said.

"The (former) president of Tunisia and the Spanish lawmaker flew this morning. There are another 14 who have begun the expulsion process," a spokeswoman for Israel's immigration authority told AFP.

Marzouki, who is widely known as a human rights activist, sailed aboard the Swedish ship the Marianne of Gothenburg as part of a four-boat flotilla that set sail from Europe last month.

Israel commandeered the Swedish-flagged Marianne on Monday and accompanied it to the port of Ashdod.

Sixteen foreign nationals were on board along with two Israeli citizens, Palestinian Knesset member Basel Ghattas and a television reporter.

The two Israelis have been released, though Ghattas could face a parliamentary hearing on whether he should face sanctions.

The four-boat flotilla of pro-Palestinian activists had been seeking to reach the Gaza Strip to highlight the Israeli blockade of the territory that they called "inhumane and illegal". more

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