Anger over Ship to Gaza Swedes’ return to Israel

Two Swedes who were detained earlier this year following an Israeli raid on the Ship to Gaza convoy earlier this year plan to return to Israel to file an official complaint with police.

Artist Dror Feiler and Green Party MP Mehmet Kaplan plan to travel to Israel on Sunday, prompting Israel’s embassy in Stockholm to condemn the trip as “a provocation with the sole aim of seeking a confrontation”.

In a statement, the embassy writes that Feiler and Kaplan tried to enter Israel illegally in May 2010 and that people who do so are barred from entering the country for ten years.

“On May 31st, 2010, Feiler and Kaplan participated in an illegal attempt to penetrated Israel’s maritime border with the Ship to Gaza and were stopped and deported as a result,” wrote the Israeli embassy in a statement.

“[A]ccording to Israeli law every person who tried to enter the country illegally is denied permission to enter Israel for a period of ten years, as long as he doesn’t appeal the decision.”

The embassy added that they had not yet received any such appeal from either of the Swedes.

Feiler told the TT news agency that it’s “a huge scandal” if Israel keeps him and Kaplan from entering the country.

“There is no legal ground whatsoever to refuse me entry,” he said.

According to Feiler, he and Kaplan plan to file a complaint with the police alleging, among other things, “kidnapping, armed robbery, abuse, and imprisonment”.

“I hope that the Israelis come to their senses, let us come in, and hand over our complaint to the authorities,” he said.

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