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Australian activists can remain, Israeli court rules

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – Two Australians, including a former lawmaker, who were detained by Israeli authorities when trying to enter the country can remain, an Israeli court ruled.

The Petach Tikvah District Court ruled Wednesday that Sylvia Hale, a former Greens lawmaker in New South Wales, and Jewish activist Vivienne Porzsolt, a spokeswoman for Jews Against the Occupation, could stay in the country if they do not disrupt the peace. They had been detained the previous day four hours after declaring that they intended to travel to Bethlehem.

Hale and Prozsolt had arrived in Israel as part of a "Welcome to Palestine" protest to raise awareness of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians; they had intended to participate in the Gaza flotilla. The women reportedly yelled "Free Gaza" during passport inspection.