The first seven people from the Irish aid ship commandeered by Israeli soldiers off Gaza have been deported from Israel.

The six Malaysians and a Cuban left the country through the West Bank, entering Jordan via the Allenby Bridge.

Eleven others, including five Irish citizens, are due to be flown from Tel Aviv tonight after waiving their right to appeal an order of deportation.

The Irish activists, who are said to be in good spirits, are due back in Dublin Airport at 11.20am tomorrow.

Israeli forces yesterday intercepted and seized control of their vessel, the MV Rachel Corrie.

Activists aboard the vessel had been trying to break the blockade of Gaza and their ship is now docked at the port of Ashdod in Israel.

Yesterday's operation was in contrast to the violent confrontations seen earlier this week when nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed in clashes after Israeli troops stormed a Turkish aid ship.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has described the events in which Israeli troops shot dead the activists and prevented a convoy of ships from delivering humanitarian aid into Gaza as a 'watershed'.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's This Week, he said the military attack in international waters against the flotilla was unacceptable and that the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza had to be lifted.

Israel's ambassador to the US has rejected a proposal for an international commission to investigate the Israeli military raid on an aid flotilla to Gaza.

Earlier, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for a multinational inquiry into the fatal incident.

Mr Ban suggested the establishment of a panel under the chair of former New Zealand prime minister, Geoffrey Palmer, and to include representatives from Turkey, Israel and the US.

However, Ambassador Michael Oren said Israel was in talks with the US on how its own investigation should proceed.

Mr Ban also discussed with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan 'options for moving forward with the investigation called for by the Security Council', the UN said on its website, referring to the Council's call for an impartial inquiry.

Turkey's relations with Israel, once a close ally, have soured badly since the deadly raid on Monday.

The Israeli official said there was hope that ties could be mended if Israel and Turkey cooperated in a committee investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, Turkish pro-Palestinian campaigners have released photographs showing Israeli soldiers surrounded by activists on the ship that they had stormed.

The photographs were taken by a member of the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Aid, which organised the convoy, said spokesman Salih Bilici.

The Israeli Defence Forces say the pictures prove that they were attacked and acted in self defence.