The 19 passengers of the MV Rachel Corrie were deported from Israel on Sunday after the vessel was intercepted and escorted to the port of Ashdod. Included among the passengers were Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Maguire and former U.N. Assistant Secretary-General Denis Halliday.
The Israeli Navy agreed to deliver the ship’s cargo after inspection for contraband. The vessel carried 670 tons of aid, including paper, cement, medical and dental equipment, fabric, and thread, Irish Central reports.
The Israeli Navy boarded the ship peacefully on June 5; there was full compliance from the crew and passengers. Diplomatic efforts were also exercised before boarding, according to Thomson Reuters.
This comes a week after Israeli forces violently stopped the Gaza Freedom Flotilla from reaching its destination.
In his latest statement defending the May 31 crackdown, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the Turkish activists on the ship who fought against the Israeli soldiers had actually planned the fight.
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon proposed to conduct a multinational investigation of the May 31 incident to be headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, with representatives from Turkey, Israel and the United States.
Israel is now considering the idea of allowing aid ships to enter the Gaza Strip after the crew of the MV Rachel Corrie first agreed to dock in Ashdod Port and undergo military inspection. Such an idea is being “floated around” by Israel to handle similar circumstances in the future, the Jerusalem Post said.