Israel denied access to a group of 130 international human rights and peace activists of the Caravan for Justice in Palestine, who tried to access the country, coming from Jordan, Palestinian sources reported on Friday.
The activists were interrogated for nine hours, according to the source, before they were forced to return to Jordan.
The Israeli embassy to Amman claimed the activists want Ã¢â‚¬Å“to go to Israel to hold provocative activities,Ã¢â‚¬Â and that Ã¢â‚¬Å“every country has the right to decide who enters its territories.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã‚Â The delegation included members from 18 countries including France, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico and Germany. Three ofÃ‚Â the 130 strong delgation wereÃ‚Â children.
According to Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, General Secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, the soldiers prevented the activistsÃ‚Â from entering Israel, stamped their passports with a mark that will prohibit them from entering Israel or the Palestinian Territories for the rest of their lives and forcefully dragged them onto busses, which thenÃ‚Â sent them back to Jordan. Soldiers beat, dragged, and pushed many of the Caravaners and confiscated one of their camerasÃ‚Â while they were forcing them onto the buses. Israel brought extra security forces onto the scene to carry out the forced evacuation.
The Caravaners have been on the road for over two weeks on the way from Strasbourg, France, to their destination in Jerusalem to show solidarity with the Palestinian people and to demand that Israel comply with international law, UN resolutions and the International Court of Justice decision last summer that declared the Apartheid Wall unlawful and ruled that all states party to the Fourth Geneva Convention do everythingÃ‚Â in their power to see that Israel complies with the ruling, tears down the Wall and compensates all victims.
According to the organizers, the Caravan for Justice in Palestine is a group of over 150 activists who have made a caravan trip from France through Geneva, Bologna, Trieste, Patras, Athens, Istanbul, Ankara, Damascus, Amman, and many otherÃ‚Â big cities to reach Palestine.
Along its way, the delegation met with UN and government representatives to plead the case for international law in solving the Israel/Palestine conflicts.
The Caravan members, according to organizers, believe that the application of international law is the key to resolving the conflict, and have decided toÃ‚Â produce a strong and united civil society showing in support of it.
Israel has become more active in preventing peace activistsÃ‚Â from enteringÃ‚Â the country because of mounting nonviolent anti-occupation activities organized by the International Solidarity Movement and other peace groups that function in the area.