Irish Nobel Laureate to Appeal Deportation From Israel

Mairead Corrigan-Maguire returned to Israel despite 10-year ban for participating in Gaza aid flotilla.

The Petah Tikva District Court was to hear an appeal Friday morning against the deportation of Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, who has been denied entry to Israel.

Corrigan-Maguire is in a detention facility at Ben-Gurion International Airport after being stopped by police for contravening a prohibition against entering Israel, imposed after she took part in the flotilla to Gaza on board the Rachel Corrie in early June.

Mairead Corrigan Maguire - AP - June 7, 2010

Before she was deported, Corrigan-Maguire signed a document stating that she was prohibited from entering Israel for the next 10 years. Corrigan-Maguire, however, says she was misled and had not agreed to such a condition.

High Court Justice Esther Hayut ordered the Petah Tikva court to hear Corrigan-Maguire's case after hearing a petition submitted on behalf of the Irish peace activist on Wednesday at 1 A.M. by Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

Adalah asked Justice Hayut to issue a temporary injunction against Corrigan-Maguire's deportation. In addition to instructing the Petah Tikva District Court to hear the case, Hayut also ordered that Corrigan-Maguire's belongings be returned to her.

Corrigan-Maguire said that contrary to claims by the Population and Immigration Authority, she had not become unruly when the authorities attempted to board her onto a Lufthansa flight to Britain from Ben-Gurion, but rather she said had been dragged toward the plane by four men and sat down in the jetway and refused to move.

The captain of the plane, who witnessed the incident said he would not board by force.

Corrigan-Maguire said she refused to board because she knew her case was pending before the court.

The Rachel Corrie was stopped by the Israel Defense Forces and taken to Ashdod. Corrigan-Maguire was then deported together with other activists who had been on board.