Pro-Palestinian activists plan ‘flytilla’ via Jordan (JERUSALEM POST) By TOVAH LAZAROFF 08/14/12)
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Pro-Palestinian demonstrators are planning their third protest event
to highlight Israel’s policy of banning foreign activists who it
believes could cause a public disorder while visiting the area.
Pro-Palestinian protesters believe that Israel applies the ban too
broadly to include political ideology. In July 2011 and again in
April 2012, activists from the grassroots organization Welcome to
Palestine held a protest to highlight that issue, in which activists –
mostly from Europe – flew into Ben-Gurion Airport on the same day.
Upon arrival the pro-Palestinians announced that they had come to
visit “Palestine.” In both cases, Israel blocked most of the
activists from entering the country. In many cases Israel worked with
the airlines, which then denied the activists the right to board the
Israel also immediately deported those activists who landed at Ben-
Gurion Both events, which involved hundreds of activists, were dubbed
Welcome to Palestine has organized a small group of 25 activists
mostly from France who will fly into the airport in Amman on August
They will visit Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan, before
attempting to enter the West Bank through the Allenby Bridge.
Upon arrival at the bridge the activists will tell Israeli custom
officials that they have come to visit Palestine, said one of the
Bethlehem organizers, Mazin Qumsiyeh.
In a statement to the press, Welcome to Palestine organizers said
they had chosen to try and enter the West Bank through the Allenby
Bridge because Israeli officials had suggested that this passage,
rather than Ben-Gurion, was the more appropriate way to enter the
“We have decided to take them at their word,” the activists said.
Once in the West Bank, activists will visit Bethlehem and the region
through the end of the month, according to the press release.
They will visit with Palestinians and volunteer to help prepare
children for the new school year.
Activists who made it into the West Bank in July 2011 and April 2012
also participated in a range of educational and volunteer activities
in support of the Palestinians. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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