Israel to expel activists amid growing calls to lift Gaza blockade
Israel has detained 480 pro-Palestinian activists captured in its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla and will expel 48 others, public radio reported Tuesday. Those detained were being held at a southern Israeli prison, while the other 48 were being taken to Ben Gurion international airport to be sent back to their home countries, added the report.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council met in emergency session late Monday to discuss the raid. According to Western diplomatic sources, the Council sought consensus on a statement to condemn the attack.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in Uganda, has called for a "full investigation to determine exactly how this bloodshed took place." On his part, Assistant Secretary-General Oscar Fernandez-Taranco said in his briefing to the Council that Monday's bloodshed would have been avoided if repeated calls on Israel to end the "counterproductive and unacceptable" blockade of Gaza had been heeded.
Other council members also said it was time for Israel's three-year-old blockade of Gaza to be fully lifted.