Israel denies entry to Nobel laureate after involvement in Gaza aid shipment

[JURIST] An Israeli district court on Friday rejected Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire's request to gain entry into the country. Maguire, traveling to Israel for a conference of Nobel laureates, was arrested [AFP report] on Tuesday upon her arrival in Tel Aviv and informed that she was barred from entering Israel for 10 years. The ban stems from Maguire's presence on the MV Rachel Corrie when it attempted to deliver aid supplies to the blockaded Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder] in June. One week earlier, Israeli forces raided [JURIST news archive] several Turkish ships, leaving nine civilians dead. The Turkish ship on which the violence occurred was one of six organized [Guardian backgrounder] by the Free Gaza Movement [advocacy website] to carry protesters and humanitarian supplies to the isolated Palestinian enclave. Maguire is scheduled to be deported within 48 hours of the ruling, though she has yet to decide if she will appeal the ruling.

In August, the Turkish Foreign Ministry [official website] announced that it will conduct an investigation [JURIST report] into the May incident. The announcement came days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [official website; BBC profile] testified before a civilian commission that Israel did not violate international law [JURIST report]. A senior Israeli official announced in July that his government would not cooperate [JURIST report] with an investigation into the incident conducted by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website], but will comply with a separate UN investigation created under the authority of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon [official website]. Earlier in July, an Israeli military probe found that the raid lacked sufficient intelligence and planning [JURIST report], but also concluded that no punishments were necessary. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) [official website] in June called for an end [JURIST report] to the blockade, labeling it a violation of international humanitarian law.

 

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