In a precedented measure, Israel denied entry to nearly 85 international visitors who were planning to enter Palestine through the King Hussein bridge via Jordan.The Welcome to Palestine Campaign media unit issued a press release decrying Israel denial of entry to the visitors, saying that the only reason they believe Israel took this measure is the fact that the international visitors, who were mostly Europeans, ‘declaring honestly’ that they were coming to visit Palestine and the Palestinians..
The press statement also said that this denial proves that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip are under an immoral Israeli siege.
This is the third time Welcome to Palestine Activists are denied entry by Israel, in July 2011 and April 2012.
The campaign coordinators say they will not give up and the freedom of entry to Palestine and will organize more campaigns in the future.
Below is a copy of the press release.
For Immediate Release
‘The Welcome to Palestine (WTP) Campaign decries the Israeli denial of entry via the Allenby Bridge to over 100 internationals who wanted to visit us in the occupied Palestinian Territories. Two previous WTP delegations tried to enter the occupied West Bank via the Ben Gurion airport in July 2011 and April 2012. Â In both cases, Israeli authorities denied access en masse to hundreds of visitors whose only â€ścrimeâ€ť was declaring honestly that they are coming to visit people under occupation. Â The Israeli authoritiesâ€™ excuses were shown to be lies. Â Even Israeli authorities admitted to fabricating lists to give to airlines used to deny international visitors from boarding.
Israel also continues to deny the Internationally-recognized right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands. Â By isolating the remaining Palestinians from the eyes of the international community, Israel confirms that it is an apartheid racist state.
At one point an Israeli position presented to the International media was that visitors could come through Jordan to go to the Palestinian Authority areas in the West Bank. The denial of entry today (Sunday, 26 August, 2012) at the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Jordan shows that the previous policies of siege and isolation continue. The siege on the occupied West Bank, just like the siege on Gaza, is immoral and illegal and must end.
Even prisoners are entitled to be visited. When governments fail to act, individuals act. We thus will continue to initiate more Welcome to Palestine campaigns. We insist on the freedom of entry. As Israel persists in these unjust policies, it is only fair to ask all countries to reciprocate by denying Israelis entry to these countries.’