Israel to Deport All Flotilla Activists by Day's End

Officials think better of earlier plans to prosecute
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 2, 2010 8:17 AM CDT
Israel to Deport All Gaza Activists by Day's End
Detained activists from the Gaza-bound flotilla flash V-signs as their bus leaves for the airport from a prison in the southern Israeli city of Beersheva, Wednesday, June 2, 2010. Israel on Wednesday quickened the pace of expelling detained activists from a Gaza-bound flotilla as the diplomatic fallout...   (AP Photo/Yehuda Lahyani)

(Newser) – All of the nearly 700 activists detained in a deadly raid on an aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip will be deported by the end of the day, says Israel's attorney general. Israel has decided not to prosecute any of the activists, despite official comments earlier that they were considering charging about 50 people believed to be involved in violence, the AP reports. "Keeping them here would do more damage to the country's vital interests than good," Yehuda Weinstein wrote in his order today.

Some 400 activists, most of them Turkish citizens, had been bused to Israel's international airport for flights home by midday. An additional 124 activists from a dozen Muslim nations without diplomatic relations with Israel were deported to Jordan before sunrise. About 100 foreigners remained in a prison in southern Israel by midday, officials said.
(Read more Israel stories.)

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