Israel To Deport Pro-Palestinian Activists

Posted July 9th, 2011 at 5:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Israel is preparing to deport more than 120 pro-Palestinian activists who were detained upon arrival at the international airport near Tel Aviv.

Israeli authorities said Saturday they have been following their activities on the social network, Facebook, and that “hooligans” are not welcome.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said that visitors can come and go as they please. “But if they announce in advance that they want to create disturbances inside Israel or in the Palestinian territories,” Palmor added, “then they cannot be allowed in the country.”

On Friday, Israel prevented more than 200 activists from boarding Tel Aviv-bound flights in Europe, after authorities sent a blacklist to foreign airlines.

Organizers of a “fly-in” to Israel said the were planning to show solidarity with Palestinians in the West Bank, which can only be reached by traveling through Israel.

The fly-in follows an attempt by hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to organize an aid flotilla to challenge the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip. The flotilla stalled after Greece banned the ships from sailing from its ports.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians and activists rallied at the West Bank checkpoint of Qalandia Saturday.

The Ma'an news agency quoted activists who said the demonstration was a start of a series of protests designed to highlight what they say is an Israeli attempt to isolate Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Jewish state has declared a public relations victory. It said it prevented two violent provocations aimed at harming Israel's image.