Skip to main content

Stay of deportation in Israel for Nobel laureate

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A hearing is set for Friday in the matter
  • Maguire was trying to visit Israel and the Palestinian territory
  • Palmor said Maguire's arrival was a 'deliberate action of confrontation'

Jerusalem (CNN) -- An Israeli jurist issued a temporary injunction Wednesday preventing the deportation of an Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner without a hearing, attorney's office said.

Israeli Supreme Court Justice Esther Hayut's moved temporarily stopped the deportation of Mairead Maguire, who was trying to visit the Jewish state and the Palestinian territories.

Hayut ordered the Central District Administrative Court in Petah Tikvah to hold an immediate hearing Wednesday regarding the deportation. That court extended the injunction until Friday morning, when a hearing on the matter was scheduled. Maguire, meanwhile, remains in detention at Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Israeli officials could not be reached for immediate comment on the development.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said Maguire was refused entry into Israel on Tuesday. She was detained at the airport as she arrived with a delegation of other high-level women's rights activists from around the world.

Maguire, along with fellow Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams and founders of the Nobel Women's Initiative, was set to lead a delegation to Israel and the Palestinian territory over the next seven days. The delegation planned to travel to Jerusalem, Haifa, Nazareth, Ramallah, Hebron and Bil'in to learn from and highlight the work of female peace builders.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor on Tuesday confirmed Maguire had been denied entry.

"She had been on two or three flotillas to Gaza and, as is the case with participants in flotillas, she had been deported with all the other participants, and the law is that once you are deported you are denied an entry visa," Palmor said.

Fatmeh El-Ajou, an attorney with Adalah, the legal center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, which is representing Maguire, said Tuesday her client "was told the reason to refuse her entry was her participation in the flotilla to Gaza in June."

Maguire was on the MV Rachel Corrie, an Irish cargo ship that set sail for Gaza loaded with humanitarian supplies in spite of an Israeli naval blockade. It was seized by the Israeli navy before it reached Palestinian-controlled Gaza, and its passengers were deported.

The Rachel Corrie's mission came just five days after Israeli commandos raided a similar flotilla in an incident that left nine passengers aboard the Mavi Marmara dead.

"I don't know what she was thinking when she took that plane to Israel but I can guarantee you that she knew very well that she does not have an entry visa and her entry will be denied after having provoked Israeli authorities time and again," Palmor said. "I believe it was a deliberate action of confrontation."

Maguire was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976 for her efforts to end sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.

CNN's Kareem Khadder contributed to this report