Court Rejects Nobel Laureate's Appeal Against Deportation

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire's appeal against deportation was rejected by the Petah Tikva District Court on Friday.

Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Mordechai Vanunu

Maguire was handed a deportation order when she tried to enter Israel via Ben-Gurion International Airport on Tuesday, for violating an agreement she signed in June after taking part in a seabound attempt to break the Gaza blockade.

Maguire had signed an agreement not to come back to Israel for 10 years, authorities said.

Maguire said she was misled into signing the agreement. She added that Israeli troops had seized the ship, the Rachel Corrie, in international waters, and that she had been intending to go to Gaza at the time, not Israel.

Maguire said she intends to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Hassan Jabareen, a lawyer for the Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, which filed the petition, said the appeal will argue that Maguire's petition was rejected for procedural reasons, and that the court did not address the human rights implications of the case, the rule of law and the interests of citizens who invited Maguire to Israel.

Macguire said she had come to visit women's groups in Israel and the West Bank and to show support for peace efforts. She said she was promised prior to her deportation in June that she could return in the fall. She returned last week with another Nobel laureate, Judy Williams of the United States, who was allowed to enter the country.

Maguire was not permitted to enter Israel but refused to board a Lufthansa jet out of the country, and was taken to the airport's detention center.

She has visited Israel 12 times, she said. The visit with Williams was jointly arranged by Israeli and Palestinian women.