Nobel Peace Laureate Denied Entry Into Israel

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland was arrested at Ben-Gurion International Airport yesterday after being denied entry into Israel.

A few hours after she arrived yesterday, Israeli authorities tried to put her on a plane back to Britain, but she refused to board. An Interior Ministry official said another attempt to deport her will be made today.

Corrigan Maguire, 66, was aboard a June flotilla to Gaza that - unlike the May 31 attempt to break the Gaza blockade, which led to the deaths of nine Turkish citizens - diverted peacefully to Ashdod. Israeli authorities say that when she was deported after that voyage, she signed a pledge not to return to Israel for 10 years.

But Corrigan Maguire said she did not wittingly sign such a pledge and that if her signature was obtained, it was through deception.

The Petah Tikva District Court rejected an urgent petition filed on her behalf against the deportation order, but she may try to appeal this morning.