(Reuters) - Israel detained or deported on Tuesday hundreds of activists aboard Turkish-backed aid ships it seized en route to Gaza, and faced a U.N. call for an impartial investigation into the deaths of nine people in the takeover.
Some 700 activists were processed in and around Israel’s port of Ashdod, where the six ships of the blockade-running convoy had been escorted. Among the activists were many Turks but they also included Israelis and Palestinians as well as Americans and many Europeans.
The Israeli Interior Ministry said 682 activists were ordered deported, and that 45 left on Tuesday, while others were jailed as they challenged the orders, or in hospital being treated for injuries.
Israel gave the following breakdown of countries and numbers of those activists ordered expelled, excluding those killed or seriously wounded in Monday’s raid:
Australia 3; Azerbaijan 2; Italy 6; Indonesia 12; Ireland 9; Algeria 28; United States 11; Bulgaria 2; Bosnia 1; Bahrain 4; Belgium 5; Germany 11; South Africa 1; Holland 2; United Kingdom 31; Greece 38; Jordan 30; Kuwait 15; Lebanon 3; Mauritania 3; Malaysia 11; Egypt 3; Macedonia 3; Morocco 7; Norway 3; New Zealand 1; Syria 3; Serbia 1; Oman 1; Pakistan 3; Czech Republic 4; France 9; Kosovo 1; Canada 1; Sweden 11; Turkey 380; Yemen 4.
Here are some further details about the activists:
— There were 32 Algerian nationals on board the flotilla’s ships, according to the MSP party, a member of Algeria’s ruling coalition, which had members in the convoy. It said the Algerians included five women, members of parliament, journalists and doctors.
— Bulent Yildirim, president of the Istanbul-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH), was aboard the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish cruise ship which carried 581 people and was part of the convoy. At least nine activists on the Mavi Marmara were killed when Israeli marines boarded the ship.
— Bestselling Swedish author Henning Mankell was among the Swedes who joined the international flotilla attempting to break the blockade, but he was not aboard the Turkish aid ship raided by Israeli commandos and is the only Swedish activist named so far. There was no information on whether he was being deported or detained. Sofia, the ship which Mankell was aboard, docked at the Israeli port of Ashdod.
— There were 11 Swedes with the flotilla. Four are at Tel Aviv airport and will be deported during the day. Six Swedes are being detained, two of whom were on board the Turkish ship. There was no confirmation on whether the final person is being deported or detained.
— Sweden summoned Israel’s ambassador on Monday to explain the deaths of nine activists during the raid on a Turkish aid ship, describing the incident as unacceptable.
— Annette Groth and Inge Hoeger, two female German members of parliament from the opposition Left Party who were on board the Marmara ship, have now returned to Germany, according to their parliamentary group.
— Germany’s foreign ministry said five of 11 Germans on the flotilla had returned home. All five were well, but the ministry could not comment on the remaining six for now.
— There are seven Irish nationals in Israel, two of whom agreed to leave the country voluntarily. Three Irish campaigners were named as Fintan Lane, Fiachra O’Luain and Shane Dillon.
— There are several activists aboard the MV Rachel Corrie, a converted merchant ship that is to reach Gaza waters by Wednesday. They include Northern Irish Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate and founder of the Community of the Peace People in 1976, Denis Halliday, former U.N. assistant secretary-general; Derek and Jenny Graham, members of the Free Gaza Movement; and Caoimhe Butterly, a Dublin-born human rights activist who was shot by a soldier during an Israeli attack on Palestinian militants in Jenin in the West Bank in 2002.
— The Palestine Solidarity Campaign NGO confirmed that their director of campaigns and operations, Sarah Colborne, was one of those on board the flotilla.
— A spokesman for the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said that Hassan Ghani, a reporter for Press TV, an Iranian state-run English language television network, was on board, as was Ali El-Awaisi.
Sources: Reuters bureaux