Sun, June 06, 2010
World > Middle East > Gaza flotilla clash

Israel releases Rachel Corrie aid ship crews

2010-06-06 13:37:42 GMT2010-06-06 21:37:42 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

JERUSALEM, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Israel on Sunday released all crews aboard the Rachel Corrie aid ship.

"They have all agreed to leave Israel, and they are in the airport now," Israeli Population and Migration Authority spokeswoman Sabin Hadad told Xinhua.

Israeli navy soldiers on Saturday took command of the Gaza- bound ship after its crews rejected orders to change course to dock at an Israeli port.

After the bloodless takeover, Israeli warships led the vessel to southern Israel's Ashdod Harbor, where 19 passengers aboard were detained by Israeli authorities.

The Rachel Corrie, named after a peace activist killed in Gaza in 2003, intended to deliver over 1,000 tons of medical and construction supplies to the besieged Gaza strip.

The latest tension between Israeli navy and pro-Palestinian activists came five days after at least nine people were killed and dozens of others were injured in a raid by the Israeli military on a Gaza-bound international aid flotilla with more than 600 people on board.

The Rachel Corrie was originally part of the flotilla, but it was delayed for sailing to Gaza reportedly due to mechanical problems.

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