Police Arrest 'Free Gaza' Activist Prof. Halper
Sderot police questioned and released Free Gaza boat protestor Prof. Jeff Halper Tuesday after he tried to return to Israel via Gaza, where he and 43 other pro-Arab activists landed two fishing boats on Saturday. Their expedition was aimed at breaking Israeli sovereignty over Gaza waters.
Halper, who immigrated to Israel after protesting against the Vietnam war in the United States in 1973, "was held for questioning," said Sderot Police Chief Shimon Nachmani, "and the decision whether to arrest him will be taken at the end of the probe."
The Ben Gurion University anthropology professor, the only Israeli among the two boatloads of activists, was arrested for violating the law prohibiting Israelis from entering Gaza.
The Ben Gurion University anthropology professor was arrested for violating the law prohibiting Israelis from entering Gaza.
Boats Deprived of Publicity
from The Foreign Ministry said it decided to allow the two boats to reach the shores of Gaza without Naval inference in order to deprive the activists of a confrontation that would be celebrated by international media. However, it added that the effects of the activists' intentions were to make terrorism legitimate.
Intelligence officials have reported several times that Hamas and other anti-Israeli gangs have used the open seas to smuggle terrorists, arms and explosions into Gaza, often using dinghies and rubber barrels.
The Free Gaza activists, except for Halper, are to leave Gaza on Thursday, and intend to take with them several Gaza residents, including students who were not permitted either by Israel or the United States to receive visas because of security clearance problems.