All 27 passengers on board were handed over to Israeli authorities and detained in a center near Tel Aviv. The police and immigration officials identified the activists, journalists and crew members, then transported them to the nearby airport of the city, putting them on direct flights to their home countries. Israeli officials have also indicated that those who refuse to leave "voluntarily", will enjoy the protection of a legal appeal against the decision within 72 hours.
The Tahrir and Saoirse were in international waters when they were intercepted by the Israeli Navy, between 64 and 96 km off the coast of Gaza. Tel Aviv says that the boats were boarded in a peaceful manner after repeated calls to change the route and there were no incidents. An activist on board the Tahrir says that it is "a victory for the movement" which reached international waters and ensures that "the next time we get even closer."
The departure of the first two ships of this "wave" has raised concerns within the international community: May 31 last, in fact, the Israeli navy captured a first group of activists by force, in a blitz which resulted in a gunfight that caused nine deaths and numerous injuries. The attack prompted serious tension between Ankara and Tel Aviv, because the victims were of Turkish nationality. In September, the Turkish government had threatened to escort the boats with warships ships, but in recent days said the project was shelved "for now".