The Flytilla is Being Grounded by El Al And Foreign Carriers(Updated)
As I had posited in my last post… So, will it only be zealous El Al employees, or will there also be some State collusion, à la Greece…?
Well, El Al is certainly doing their part…
Two Dutch journalists were not allowed to board a flight from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv late yesterday.
Security correspondent Bud Wichers and photographer Ettora Hesseling, who are both working for an International news agency, recently covered the preperation of the Dutch ‘flotilla activists’ from Greece.
They intended to sail with the aid flotilla to Gaza, but backed out after a disagreement between the Dutch organisers and Dutch journalists.
They were told by a staff member of El Al Airlines, the Israeli national carrier, that that they would pose a “serious flight risk”, and for that reason could not board the plane.
“We wanted to tell both sides of the flotilla story and scheduled interviews with Israelis who oppose the action of the activists,” Wichers said.
“Later on we wanted to go to Gaza to see how Israel is bringing aid to the people there. Israel denied us the opportunity to tell their side of the story. Instead we are labeled terrorists, even though Netanyahu’s office specifically said they would not target journalists who covered the Freedom Flotilla II.”
Now, in another Al Jazeera article…
…[The Flytilla] Expected to arrive in Israel late on Thursday and on Friday, the activists say they are on a peaceful mission to draw attention to the plight of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
In Paris, eight activists were blocked from boarding a Malev Airlines flight on Thursday.
Philippe Arnaud, one of those turned away, has led calls to boycott Israeli products in France.
He said Malev, a Hungarian airline, showed him a list provided by Israeli authorities of some 329 people being barred from Israel, which holds complete control over who can enter and exit the West Bank. […]
In Europe, German federal police said as long as passengers had valid tickets and passports, they had no grounds to stop any activists at airports there.
But German authorities also said that German citizens of Palestinian descent would not be allowed into Israel. The vast majority of Palestinians are barred from using Israel’s airport.
Two German airlines, flagship carrier Lufthansa and Air Berlin, said on Thursday they received lists of people from Israel who are not allowed into the country.
“[Lufthansa] is obliged not to transport any passengers who do not hold valid entry permits or whose entry into the respective state has been denied by local authorities beforehand as in this case,” Patrick Meschenmoser, a company spokesman, said on Thursday.
Yigal Palmor, spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry, confirmed that the list had been made available to carriers, who are liable to repatriate at their own expense passengers refused entry at their destination.
“The organisers did not come with any intention of demonstrating at the airport or doing anything like that,” Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian-American professor, said.
“Israeli authorities made the mistake of mobilising security on people who are obviously not a security threat.”
As Ha’aretz reported today…
Israel instructs foreign airlines to prevent departure of 300 pro-Palestinian activists
Transportation Ministry hands foreign airlines blacklist of 300 passengers who will be refused entry to Israel; move may prevent activists from reaching Israel.
…In effect, Israel’s instructions mean that the foreign airlines will not allow those passengers to board their flights in airports abroad, so they would not need to fly them back to their countries of origin after being deported by Israel.
So assured they are by those extralegal actions…
Police believe most of the 300 pro-Palestinian activists blacklisted by Israel to be prevented from flying at airports abroad; Israel security forces lower state of alert.
We shall see…!
God Bless and God Speed…!
Pro-Palestinian activists barred from entering, with hundreds blacklisted and dozens deported or detained at airport.
Officials at Israel’s international airport have refused entry to 69 pro-Palestinian activists and said most would be repatriated on the first available flights.
Sabine Hadad, an immigration spokeswoman, said that four people had already flown out of Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, and the remainder were in custody waiting to travel.
“They are from Spain, the Netherlands, many from France, Bulgaria, the United States, Germany,” she said. “Legally they have been refused entry. They are not in Israel.”
Organisers of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign, which some have called the “flytilla”, had said up to 800 activists were to fly in to Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv in a peaceful mission to visit Palestinian families.
More than 200 activists whose names are on a blacklist provided by Israeli authorities have been turned away by airlines at European airports.
Only two activists have reportedly managed to enter Israel so far, but more arrivals are expected later on Friday and Saturday…