Thursday, July 7, 2011

Welcome to Palestine: Activists Wish to Pass Peacefully Through Airport

Bethlehem and Jerusalem - The Israeli authorities are scaling up security to an unprecedented crescendo because of the arrival of hundreds of international guests at Ben Gurion airport on Friday.  Israeli Prime minister has directed the interior security minister that the Israeli authorities must “act with determination."  Netanyahou also declared that “any country may forbid disturbers and provokers from entering its territory.”
The visitors coming from the US and Europe on Friday have stated that they are non-violent pacifists.  They have stated that the rumors of planned protests or even setting up camp within Ben Gurion Airport are false. They have stated that they only wish to transit through Israel on their way to Palestine, as they have been invited by Palestinians to come and help Palestine.
Since the international visitors are only transiting through Israel, they do not represent any threat to Israel.  Before stepping onto the airplanes headed for Ben Gurion Airport, the visitors will have passed through the meticulous security procedures at the various European airports where they begin their flights.  The argument that the visitors could be armed “terrorists” is simply not credible and indeed ridiculous.
Apparently the Israeli authorities are threatened because these visitors plan to tell the truth.  But telling the truth is what is required under the "Entry into Israel Law. Article 12 (2) of the law states that giving “false information” to obtain a visa is “liable to imprisonment”."  However, up until now, many visitors going through Israeli passport control on their way to Palestine gave out “false information,” simply in order to be granted a visa. The visitors flying in on July 8th will simply tell the truth, as is required by Israeli law.  They should be honored rather than punished for this.

Twitter @PalSpring
Facebook: Welcome to Palestine

Bethlehem: Fadi Kattan,   +970 (0) 595 754 100 or Skype welcome.palestine

Jerusalem: Nikki or Laura, , +972 2 624 1159 or +972 2 624 1424

Berlin: Sophia Deeg,, +49(0) 30 88 007761, +49 (0) 1799878414 13:00  Press briefing; beginning 13:30 news center, including (if possible) direct contact with the travelers as they land at Ben Gurion airport.  Filmbühne am Steinplatz, Hardenbergstr. 12, Berlin Charlottenburg. 

Paris:  Nicolas Shahshahani, +33 (0)1 42 94 39 94 and +33 (0) 6 73 38 24 84. The press office will answer questions from the media around the clock. 

UK: Sofiah Macleod, (0)131 620 0052 or + 44 (0) 7401631658, Skype: scottishpsc.

USA/Germany: Elsa Rassbach, (0) 30 326 01540+49 (0) 170 738 1450, Skype: elsarassbach

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