Sunday, 15 April 2012

Pro-Palestinian 'fly-in' activist: Israel and Europe treated us like terrorists

Two pro-Palestinian activists that took part in the fly-in protest to Israel succeeded in making it past security at Ben-Gurion Airport and arrived in Bethlehem on Sunday, saying they were "treated like terrorists."

Israeli police escort a pro-Palestinian Israeli activist at Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, April 15, 2012.

The two female protesters, who hold French and Italian citizenship, held a press conference upon arrival in Bethlehem and recounted their experience.

Israel Police said Sunday that 43 activists were denied entry at Ben-Gurion Airport – 31 were transferred to Givon detention center and 12 were deported to their country of origin. Nine leftist activists who protested at the airport were also held for investigation.

One of the two activists who arrived in Bethlehem, a 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian descent, told Haaretz that she arrived at the Lyon airport in France with a group of 50 activists. Half of them were unable to board the plane after being blocked by French police, and the others, who succeeded in landing in Israel, were held and are expected to be deported. more

Video: Palestinians and internationals attacked during biking trip in Jordan Valley

Palestinian and international cyclists were brutally attacked by the Israeli occupation forces on Saturday as they attempted to bike up Route 90, the main North-South highway running through the Jordan Valley. The cyclists were demonstrating against Israeli apartheid policies in the Jordan Valley, which limit Palestinian access to roadways as part of an ongoing campaign of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Bedouin communities of the Valley. more

Aman Palestin aid mission enters Gaza Strip after 30 hour trip from Kuala Lumpur

GAZA: The Aman Palestin (AP) VIII humanitarian mission has finally entered the Gaza Strip after a 30-hour trip from Kuala Lumpur.

AP chief excutive officer Awang Suffian Awang Piut said even though the trip was a long journey, was worth the wait as the team was received by Gaza's influential leader Dr Abdul Rahman Jamal, who is also the chairman of the Darul Quran and Sunnah.

“We feel honoured that our visit was received by such an influential man here. We are all humbled by his presence,” he said in a short ceremony held after entering the border here.

The 21-strong Malaysian delegation includes businessmen, officials and media members with the youngest volunteer, Muhammad Razique, just two years of age.

The AP VIII Humanitarian Mission is in Gaza to deliver medical supplies, generator sets, a water desalination station and meet 500 AP sponsored orphans. more

Welcome to Palestine visitors arrive - 60 per cent may have had flights cancelled

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Visitors on a tour of Palestine began to arrive in Israel on Sunday, as demonstrations were held in European airports to protest the barring of dozens of tourists as part of the 'Welcome to Palestine' initiative.

Organizer Mazin Qumsiyeh said several passengers had arrived, and Israeli news site Ynet reported three passengers from Paris had been allowed to enter after questioning in Ben Gurion airport.

Spokesman to the Israeli Prime Minister Ofir Gendelman said on Twitter that 27 "provocateurs" had been denied entry at the airport.

Israeli supporters gathered at the arrivals hall to welcome the passengers, and Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said two were detained by police for "causing a disturbance."

Earlier, organizers told Israeli daily Haaretz that more than 60 percent of the expected 1,500 had flights canceled by airlines, after Israel circulated a blacklist of passengers and warned it would fine carriers.

An Interior Ministry spokeswoman said the Immigration Authority had on Wednesday given airlines the names of some 1,200 activists whose entrance to Israel has been barred.

On Saturday, Micky Rosenfeld said that hundreds of police officers had been deployed in and around Ben Gurion airport.

Meanwhile, protests were held in Brussels, Paris, Geneva and Rome airports to support the initiative, Qumsiyeh said. more