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Former MP Jim Manly released from Israeli detention

Former NDP MP Jim Manly makes a statement in a pre-recorded video released on YouTube on Saturday Oct. 20, 2012, after the Estelle was commandeered by Israeli troops.

CanadaBoatGaza/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Former MP Jim Manly has been released from detention in Israel and is on his way home.

Mr. Manly, a 79-year-old former New Democrat MP, was arrested and detained Saturday when Israeli authorities boarded a ship headed to Gaza. He and several Europeans were seeking to deliver supplies to symbolize opposition to the Israeli blockade.

Greek and Spanish members of the contingent had been allowed to return home on Sunday, but Mr. Manly had refused to sign a deportation waiver that said he had entered Israel illegally. On Tuesday, he agreed to sign the form and was let go.

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"He signed the waiver, but he added to it that he was taken to Israel against his will," said Jim Manly's son, Paul. "I understand he was supposed to be on a flight really soon, but I haven't had confirmation."

Paul Manly said his father will probably feel like he accomplished something, but not all he hoped for.

"You could say that he's made some kind of point," Paul Manly said. "I think he would have preferred to get through to Gaza."

A spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, Yosi Aviram, said Mr. Manly was always able to obtain release and return to Canada if he signed a document waiving his right to an appeal of his deportation.

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About the Author
Chief political writer

Campbell Clark has been a political writer in The Globe and Mail’s Ottawa bureau since 2000. Before that he worked for The Montreal Gazette and the National Post. He writes about Canadian politics and foreign policy. More

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