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Pro-Palestinian activists refused Israel flight (BBC) British Broadcasting Company) 15 April 2012 Last updated at 15:45 GMT) Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-17720326
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Members of a pro-Palestinian campaign group have been refused travel from Manchester Airport to Israel.
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Airline Jet2 said Israeli officials informed it 13 people booked on a flight to Ben Gurion airport would not be allowed into Israel.
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A Jet2 spokesman said: "In light of this decision we were unable to accept them for travel."
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The head of a Scottish pro-Palestine group, whose members were banned from flying, said it was atrocious.
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Mick Napier and nine other people from the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign were stopped by the budget airline from boarding flight LS907.
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They were part of a UK contingent making its way to Bethlehem for Welcome to Palestine 2012, a week-long series of conferences and events.
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Meanwhile, about 30 pro-Palestinian activists were held by security forces at Ben-Gurion Airport neat Tel Aviv, according to the Israeli news service Haaretz.
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They had arrived on a flight from Paris on Sunday, ahead of what Israeli police had estimated would be hundreds of activists for the Welcome to Palestine protest.
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Haaretz also reported that activists were turned back at Brussels airport.
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´Immediate return´ Mr Napier, UK co-ordinator of the event, said: "It is atrocious that the Israeli Government can coerce Jet2 to refuse to let us travel."
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Jet2 said it was standard procedure to supply advance passenger information to immigration authorities.
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In a statement it said: "As a result of providing that information we were informed by the Israeli authorities that 13 passengers booked to travel would not be permitted to enter Israel.
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"We were further advised that, if we were to allow them to travel, we would be responsible for their immediate return to the UK."
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A protest was held at Manchester Airport after the passengers were refused boarding.
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Jet2 said the flight had left on schedule at 10:00 BST, but said the check-in desk had to be temporarily closed due to the protest because some passengers were "being abusive".
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Mr Napier said: "We were demonstrating over our right to travel but we also had the extra provocation of Jet2 refusing to reimburse us for our flights."
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The airline has now agreed to pay refunds.
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"We have reviewed our policy for all passengers affected by this decision by the Israeli authorities and will be refunding in full all passengers that are unable to fly," it said.
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Greater Manchester Police said officers attended "a minor incident at the airport but there were no issues or arrests". (© BBC MMXII 04/15/12)
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