Israeli Authorities Brace for Palestinian ‘Fly-In’ Activists

Posted July 6th, 2011 at 11:15 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Dozens of Israeli police have been deployed to the country's international airport at Tel Aviv in anticipation of the arrival of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists later this week.

Police and border guard officials were sent to Ben Gurion airport Wednesday to prepare for what is being called a pro-Palestinian “fly-in.”

The 600 activists, who are part of a “Welcome to Palestine” campaign, are set to arrive Friday from across Europe in a show of support for Palestinians.

Organizers say the activists are not planning to hold any demonstrations at the Israeli airport, but plan to embark on a one-week visit to the West Bank in a show of solidarity with Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.

The planned influx comes as a flotilla trying to break Israel's sea blockade of Gaza has been mostly stalled in Greece.

Only one small French boat is heading for Gaza after leaving a Greek port in defiance of a ban on ships destined for Gaza and eluding detection.

The Dignite al Karama is the only boat of a planned flotilla organized by pro-Palestinian activists to make it out of Greek ports in recent days without being halted by the Greek coast guard.

Organizers had planned to send about a dozen vessels from Greece to Gaza late last month, carrying hundreds of activists and humanitarian aid for the Palestinians.

But the flotilla has suffered a series of setbacks, with some ships facing technical and bureaucratic problems.

Israel has vowed to enforce a naval blockade it imposed on Gaza in 2007. It says the blockade is necessary to stop weapons from reaching Hamas militants who run the territory.