A group of women activists who tried to break the Zionist decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip were being held Thursday pending deportation after the Zionist navy intercepted their boat.
Thirteen women, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, were detained on Wednesday evening after their sailboat was stopped around 35 nautical miles off the coast of Gaza.
The Zionist navy said it stopped them to prevent a “breach of the lawful maritime blockade” of the Palestinian enclave.
Ministry of occupation interior spokeswoman Sabin Haddad said two of the women, both journalists, had already left prison for the airport but the others were being held in the Givon prison in central Israel for up to four days before being deported.
“During these 96 hours they can see a judge to appeal their detention,” she added.
The Zaytouna-Oliva set sail from Barcelona in September with women of various nationalities aboard including Maguire, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her peace efforts in Northern Ireland.
Dubbed “Women’s Boat to Gaza”, the boat was part of the wider Freedom Flotilla Coalition that consists of pro-Palestinian boats that regularly seek to go to Gaza to try to break the blockade.
“We are very disappointed for Gazans who were waiting for us, but we will continue. As long as there is a blockade, there will be flotillas,” Claude Leostic, spokeswoman for the flotilla movement who herself attempted to sail to Gaza in 2011, told AFP.