Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated Tuesday that Israel will release and deport the 620 peace activists kidnapped by Israel after attacking the Freedom Flotilla carrying humanitarian supplies to the Gaza Strip.
He said that the activists are expected to be release within two days. Sixteen activists were killed and dozens were wounded during the attack against the nonviolent activists. The attack was carried out in violation to the International Law
as the ships were attacked in international waters.
Israeli Ynet News reported that the decision was made after Netanyahu held a meeting with his so-called National Security Cabinet, and after consultations with Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, Justice Minister, Yaakov Na’eman, and Israel’s Interior Minister, Eli Yishai.
The decision was made due to increasing international pressure and outrage against the deadly attack against the ships.
The move was considered as an act of political damage control affected by the international outrage and condemnations.
Most of the kidnapped activists will be detained deported via the Ben-Gurion Airport.
The Israeli Interior Ministry said that nearly 124 Arab detainees will be deported to Jordan. 45 other activists have already been deported.
The Ynet also reported that the decision was not unanimous and some minister said that Turkey should not be allowed to send its planes to transport the injured to Istanbul, while several other ministers said that forcing the planes to return empty would cause further tension.
Also, Israel Internal Security Minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, demanded Israel not to release activists who, according to him, attacked Israeli army soldiers.
He said that Israel must imprison and prosecute %15 of the 620 activists detained during the attack.
After this demand, the Israeli cabinet came to an agreement to prosecute those who “appeared attacking the soldiers in the video footage”.
In related news, the White House expressed support to the UN Security Council resolution to conduct an investigation into the attack against the ship, and that this investigation should include international participation.
Yet, the United Sates did not issue any statement condemning the Israeli army for the deadly attack.
According to list published by the Israeli Interior Minister the activists are from the following countries;
Australia, 3, Azerbaijan, 2, Ireland, 9, Indonesia, 12, Algeria, 28, Italy, 5, Ireland, 9, Bosnia, 1, United States, 11, Bulgaria, 2, Belgium, 5, Bahrain, 4, South Africa, 1, United Kingdom, 31, Holland, 2, Germany, 11, Yemen, 4, Macedonia, 3,Greece, 38, Kuwait, 15, Jordan, 30, Malaysia, 11, Mauritania, 3, Lebanon 3, Egypt, 3, Syria, 3, Morocco, 7, Norway, 3, Pakistan, 3, Kosovo, 1, Serbia, 1, New Zealand, 1, Pakistan, 3, Oman, 1, France 4, Sweden, 11, Canada, 1, Czech Republic, 4, Turkey, 380.
All of the activists who were killed by the Israeli army are still at Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine, the Ynet said, their bodies are pending identification.