Ireland calls on Israel to free Irish activists, allows another ship

Cowen said Ireland was also calling for another ship, the MV Rachel Corrie, to be allowed to complete its journey to Gaza.

Ireland calls on Israel to free Irish activists, allows another ship

Ireland called on Tuesday for the immediate and unconditional release of seven of its nationals detained by Israel after an attack on ships taking aid to Gaza, and warned of serious consequences if they were harmed.

Israel detained or deported hundreds of activists aboard the Turkis ships raided by Israeli soldiers on international waters on Monday and faced a U.N. call for an impartial investigation into the killings of nine people on one of the ships.

"If any harm comes to any of our citizens, it will have the most serious consequences," Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen told parliament.

Of seven Irish nationals detained by Israel, two were taken to Ben Gurion Airport after signing declarations agreeing to their immediate deportation, Foreign Minister Micheal Martin said.

The others were taken to a detention centre and would be deported later.

"The seven individuals concerned did not enter Israel illegally; rather they were essentially seized from international waters, taken into Israel and asked to sign documents confirming that they entered illegally," Martin said in a statement. "This is simply not acceptable".

Cowen said Ireland was also calling for another ship, the MV Rachel Corrie, to be allowed to complete its journey to Gaza.

Activists said on Tuesday they would use the Rachel Corrie to try to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza, and an Israeli officer pledged to stop it, setting the stage for a fresh attack after Monday's deadly raid.


Agencies

Last Mod: 02 Haziran 2010, 12:40
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