Freedom Waves Flotilla to Gaza – ‘Court appearance’ Givon prison

This is a translation from Hebrew of my ‘court appearance’ in Givon prison. There’s quite a bit omitted, but the judge did say it would end up on the internet – it’s the only truth he told. Original document is below.

Court of Custody Control of Unlawful “Stayers” [illegal aliens.]

Protocol of day 8 November 2011

Custody facility- Giv’on Section -6

Name of detainee – Zoe F. Lawler

 Detainee No:  122858

Prisoner No: 1413821

Date entry Israel 4 November 2011

Date Custody order according to Entry Into Israel Law 5 November 2011

Passport: Yes

Visa; None

Citizenship:  Ireland

Detained for: Unlawful stay

Present: The Detainee

The [person] held in custody in her own words

I knew when I boarded the vessel that it is heading for Gaza. The intention was to break through the blockade and demonstrate solidarity with the people in Gaza.

It is my argument that the blockade is illegal [and therefore] I argue that I was kidnapped in the high sea.

I received no copy of the deportation order. I understand that I am being deported to Ireland and I consent.

In conversation with a representative of the embassy I was told that action is taken to organize a flight.

The legal proceedings were conducted in English, a language that the detainee commands to a sufficient degree.


The detainee was on board the vessel which was seized by the Israeli Navy opposite the Gaza shores. This, after it [the vessel] had violated or had intended to violate the naval blockade that Israel had imposed, by law, on the Gaza strip as a result of [Gaza] being engaged in an armed conflict with Israel and is being governed by a terror organization- Hamas.

The vessel, it’s crew and all the passengers were brought to the port of Ashdod where they were handed over to personnel of the Immigration Authority.  The Border Control officer in charge gave the detainee a hearing [after which] he issued her with a Custody [detention] Order and a Restraining Order.  [That], in keeping with the Entry Into Israel Law 1952.

Having studied the protocol of the SHABACH* [Unlawful stayer],the report of the operation, heard the detainee and examined the causes for release stipulated in clause 113 of the Entry to Israel Law 1952, I hereby determine that: I am not persuaded that the unlawful stay of the detainee is based on an error or on a bona fide mishap. The detainee’s stay in Israel today is unlawful and it is irrelevant that in fact she was brought to Israel against her will because of the violation of the Gaza blockade. Whereas she was brought to Israel and it was found that she is not entitled to stay [in the country] her sentence is removal [excusion?].**

I was not persuaded that the Detainee’s unlawful stay is founded on an error or on a bona fide mishap. The detainee boarded the seized vessel knowing and intending to attempt a breakthrough the naval blockade imposed on Gaza by Israel.

I was not persuaded that there are medical reasons justifying the release of the detainee. I was not persuaded that there are special humanitarian reasons justifying the release of the detainee.

I endorse the Custody Order without modification.

El’ad El’azar


Court of Detention Control

This decision may be appealed against [challenged] before the District Court sitting as a Court for Administrative matters


* SHABACH a term devised to describe Palestinian workers without an Israeli permit to work in Israel . Later expanded to include all persons denied leave to stay.
** The Hebrew term צו הרחקה is Restraining Order and הרחקה on its own means Exclusion or Removal. However, in context, it could well mean: Deportation Order.
Court Statement in Hebrew

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