A group of 25 people suspected to be pro-Palestinian activists arrived at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Friday night, and were expected to be denied entry to Israel.
The suspected activists arrived on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt late Friday night, after their flight’s departure was delayed due to runway improvement work being conducted at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Friday evening from 19:00 to 22:00.
The activist aboard the plane were not on the list of 342 blacklisted passengers submitted by the Transportation Ministry to foreign airlines on Thursday, and as such were able to board the plane.
Earlier in the day, police called Friday’s operations at Ben-Gurion Airport “successful” as most of the activists were identified and taken for questioning during the afternoon hours.
Not including those passengers who arrived on the Lufthansa flight, a total of 310 arriving passengers were questioned by the Immigration and Population Authority. Sixty-nine of those passengers were found to be “fly-in” activists and were denied entry to Israel. The others were found to be regular tourists and were permitted entry.
At this time, four of the 69 activists have been deported to their home countries. The rest have been sent to detention facilities until they can be deported.
Ten of the activists arrived on an easyJet flight, while another 20 came on an Alitalia flight. The rest arrived on other flights.
Israel has thus far been successful in preventing the entry of 200 passengers wishing to come to Israel as part of the Welcome to Palestine campaign, which had organized a “fly-in” to the Middle East this weekend for solidarity visits in the Palestinian territories.
Israel Police estimate that the bulk of events related to the pro-Palestinian ‘fly-in’ have ended.