Airlines cancel activists’ flights to Israel
By Daniel Estrin | YahooNews / AP
A Palestinian activist said Saturday that a number of international airlines canceled flights for at least 100 people scheduled to arrive in Israel’s main airport for a mass fly-in of pro-Palestinian activists, while Israel said those activists who manage to make it to the airport would be deported.
Campaign organizer Amira Musallam said activists from around the world notified her by email that Lufthansa, Jet2.com and Air France canceled their flight reservations.
EasyJet also announced it would refuse to fly passengers which Israel has marked on a no-entry list. Airline spokeswoman Anna Knowles said only a small number of passengers were affected.
Organisers of the campaign had been expecting to welcome up to 1,500 people. (AFP, Jack Guez)
Israeli television reported most airlines would not fly activists to Israel and only a trickle would arrive, though Musallam, the Palestinian organizer, said she still expects hundreds of activists to arrive beginning Saturday evening and continuing through Sunday.
The "Welcome to Palestine" project seeks to raise attention to how Israel controls access into Palestinian areas.
Visitors can only reach the West Bank through Israeli-controlled land crossings or Israeli airports. At any given time, hundreds of foreigners are in the West Bank, including activists, aid workers, volunteers, tourists and religious pilgrims. Israel limits entry through its border crossing to the Gaza Strip to foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers only.
Travelers who wish to visit the Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank often report being detained and questioned, sometimes for hours, by Israeli border authorities — unless they fib about their intended destination.
Israel is nervous about a large influx of pro-Palestinian activists, following a series of deadly run-ins with such activists in recent years.
In 2010, a naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla left nine Turkish activists dead. The Israeli navy and the pro-Palestinian activists have each accused each other of sparking the bloodshed. Last year, Israeli troops battled hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to burst across Syrian and Lebanese borders into Israeli-held territory, killing dozens. Those clashes drew international criticism.
Last July, Israel blocked a similar fly-in effort by preventing scores of activists from boarding Tel Aviv-bound flights in Europe, questioning dozens more upon arrival at the airport and denying entry to 69.
In seeking to prevent this weekend’s pro-Palestinian fly-in, Israel seems keen on avoiding further confrontations. Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri said hundreds of additional police officers, both plainclothes and uniformed, would patrol the airport beginning Sunday to prevent disruptions.
A spokeswoman for Israel’s Interior Ministry, Sabine Hadad, said Israel had sent a list of suspected activists to international airlines, asking the airlines to deny boarding them on Israel-bound flights — They warned the airlines they’d have to cover the cost of their return flights, and threatened unspecified sanctions on airlines if they do not comply.
"Due to statements of pro-Palestinian radicals to arrive on commercial flights from abroad to disrupt the order and confront security forces at friction points, it was decided to deny their entry," the letter read.
Sofiah MacLeod, a British campaign coordinator, said the Israeli allegations against activists in the campaign "is just complete rubbish."
"The only thing participants will be doing will be to declare honestly that their destination is Bethlehem and Palestine. That’s it," she said.
Read the full article at: news.yahoo.com
Palestinians are an "invented people", says US Presidential hopeful Gingrich
Palestine: Paramilitary Organizations, Black September, the PLO and Israel (1976 Documentary)
Israeli Military Training Settlers To Use Weapons in Preparation of "Mass Protests" by Palestinians
Netanyahu: Palestinians’ UN bid for Statehood will Never Succeed
Grass stained: Israel slams Nobel Prize-winner over ’anti-nuke’ poem
Israel seeks multi-year-long US military aid
Israel causes $66 million worth of damage to EU-funded aid projects
Latest News from our Front Page
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants
Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July.
The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are.
London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race.
Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event.
BBC says this woman looks like the 15th century Queen of England
Sophie Okonedo, the daughter of a Nigerian father and Jewish mother, is portraying Margaret of Anjou in the BBC Drama series “The Hollow Crown”.
Margaret of Anjou was a White Christian woman. Okonedo is probably the polar opposite of that.
Over the years we have seen Black Vikings in Thor: the Dark World. We have seen only non-White people playing the American ...
Three German Cities to Tip Nonwhite
Mass Third World immigration to Germany will “soon” cause the three German cities of Augsburg, Stuttgart, and Frankfurt to tip into majority nonwhite status, one of that country’s most prominent demographers has announced.
Speaking in an interview in the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper, “integration expert” Jens Schneider said that Augsburg will be one of the “first major German cities where people with ...
|More News » |