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A few Welcome to Palestine activists arrived yesterday

8 July 2011 | Alternative Information Center

Others are in flight and hundreds more prevented from boarding

The first international activists participating in the Welcome to Palestine campaign arrived yesterday to Ben Gurion airport from Europe. This morning hundreds more tried to board planes to Tel Aviv to join the week of activities in the West Bank, but they were prevented by airlines, like Lufthansa, Easyjet, Air France and Malev. On Thursday the Israeli authorities sent hundreds of names to these companies telling them to deny travel to individuals identified as activists.

One of these activists was Cynthia Beatt, a British researcher living in Berlin. She was supposed to fly today, but she received a call yesterday from the Lufthansa office to inform her that the Israeli authorities would not let her fly to Tel Aviv. Despite this, she decided to go to the airport and demand a written justification from the airline. The company didn’t comply. “There’s no reason for this. I have never done anything and I want an explanation as to why I was put on a blacklist”, she explained to the AIC. Beatt and other participants will hold a press conference in the theater Filmbühne am Steinplatz, (Hardenbergstr 12, Berlin Charlottenburg), in the center of Berlin, at 13, local time.

French activists were also prevented from boarding planes to Tel Aviv and are staging protests at the airports in Paris, Lyon and Nice. In some cases, the airlines even prohibited them to make local connections. Activists were also prohibited from checking in for their flights in Brussels and Geneva. The AIC received information that some participants are currently en route to Ben Gurion airport.