Swiss deny activist flights to Israel

 

PressTV | Fri Jul 8, 2011 10:40AM

Israeli police officers stand guard at Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv , Israel, awaiting the arrivals of hundreds of pro-Palestine activists, Thursday, July 7, 2011.
The Geneva airport has prevented nearly 50 pro-Palestinian activists from boarding their flight to Tel Aviv following a demand by the Israeli Interior Ministry.

Airport spokeswoman Aline Yazgin said, however, that she was not aware why the activist flights were blocked, but that it could have been due to a shutdown in security areas after a French pro-Palestinian group tried to pass through airports security doorways, AFP reported.

As the second Freedom Flotilla has been hindered on several occasions from reaching the impoverished Gaza Strip, activists planned to instead fly to Israel to attend a mass rally in the occupied West Bank before heading for Gaza.

Some 600 had joined the initiative called “Flytilla.”

As a response, Israel released a list to international airlines requesting them to block 342 passengers for their pro-Palestinian activities.

“Israel has given airlines a list of 342 unwanted people, warning them that they will be immediately turned back at the expense of the companies,” said an Israeli immigration spokeswoman.

It has been reported that some 200 activists have already been refused to board flights destined to airports in occupied Palestine.

Israel has already boosted security measures at Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport on the grounds that the activists planned to “arrive on commercial flights from abroad to disrupt order and confront security forces at friction points.”

“Hundreds of trained police officers are deployed inside and around Ben Gurion (airport) in order to counter any development or event,” said an Israeli police spokesman.

Olivia Zemor, organizer of the French delegation of “Welcome to Palestine,” however, said she did not understand who had invented the story behind the activists seeking to disrupt any order, emphasizing that they “are only coming to visit the West Bank and show solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

French authorities have also barred eight activists from boarding flights to Tel Aviv.

The first Freedom Flotilla was blocked from reaching the impoverished Gaza Strip by a brutal Israeli military attack on the relief aid convoy in international waters of the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, 2010. Nine Turkish activists were killed by the Israeli military and 50 others were injured. Nearly 700 activists were also detained in the horrific incident before being released two days later.

The Israeli regime imposed a punishing total blockage on Gaza in 2007 after the Hamas Islamic resistance movement was democratically elected into power and took control of the tiny territory.

Currently, some 1.5 million residents of Gaza are being denied their basic rights, including freedom of movement, the right to decent standard of living as well as the right to proper employment, education and healthcare.

PM/MB

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