Occupied Jerusalem, April 16 (QNA) – Israeli security forces produced counterfeit lists containing the names of “Welcome to Palestine” supporters, by adding foreign citizens bearing no relation to the campaign to raise intimidation against it and distort the goals of its participants, an Israeli newspaper has revealed.
According to Israeli newspaper (Haaretz), a large number of European citizens were surprised to find their names in blacklists, denying them entry into the Ben-Gurion International Airport. These include an employee of Italy’s Communications Ministry and a Dutch member of the board of directors of German pharmaceutical giant Merck.
“We put people on the list who are as far removed from anti-Israel political activity as east is from west,” one Foreign Ministry official told Haaretz.
The Israel Security Agency (Shabak), Israel’s internal security service, compiled the list along with the intelligence division of the Israel Police, the Israeli newspaper reported.
The initial blacklist constituted 730 people, all foreign citizens, who were banned because they were determined by Israeli intelligence to be flying in to take part in the protest. The 270 people who took part in the previous protest have been banned from entering the country for 10 years.
A high-ranking Israeli source with knowledge of the blacklist said that the Shabak had no evidence for believing that 470 of the 1,200 people whom Israel labeled as “pro-Palestinian activists” intended to do anything illegal, Haaretz reported.
Even French diplomats due to begin working at the French consulate in Jerusalem were blacklisted, receiving an e-mail the night before their flight from airline Lufthansa. It notified them that their tickets were canceled because they had been banned from entering Israel.
“We have insulted hundreds of foreign citizens because of suspicions, and have given the other side a victory on a silver platter, direct damage has been done to tourism and to Israel’s good name,” the ministry official added.
Hundred of pro-Palestinian activists were planning to participate in demonstrations in the West Bank as part of the “Welcome to Palestine” protest. (QNA)
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