Several hours after arriving into the Ben Gurion airport of Tel Aviv only 40
of the expected thousand visitors from the campaign Welcome to Palestine
have made it into the Tel Aviv international airport. After a series of
blacklists initiated by the Israeli government, canceled flights, and
deportations 40 known visitors from German and French nationalities remain.
More flights are expected to arrive before the end of the evening.
Despite the respectfulness of the visitors in accordance to the principles
of the Welcome to Palestine campaign there has been violent police and army
retaliation. According to one source detained in the airport, a woman was
witnessed being beaten in the face.
Additionally, the visitors have no knowledge of the where 20 people of their
group are being held. The visitors have been isolated into groups of four
by the Israeli soldiers, with notably no news from one passenger, Dr.
Hikmat al Sabti, who has been separated from the group since the beginning
and remains detained now for more than five hours. Additional news is
being transmitted to us from the airport as the visitors remain uncertain of
their ability to leave the airport.