Israeli authorities at the Ben Gorion International Airport in Tel Aviv barred on Thursday eight international peace activists from entering the country for what the authorities described as “conducting activities against Israel”; the “illegal” activities are being in solidarity with the Palestinian people living under Israeli occupation.

One of the peace activists said that he and seven other peace activists were detained upon arriving at the airport, and were thoroughly searched. They were also subjected to strip search at the airport, and were interrogated by the Israeli intelligence for three hours.

The activist, Pluto Anton, said that he was interrogated and asked about the reason for his second visit to the country, and then he was informed that “his presence, and the presence of the other activists, is not welcomed in Israel”.

The eight activists were detained and interrogated for a total of eight hours before they were forced on a plane leaving the country.

The International Solidarity Movement in Jenin slammed the Israeli policies that aim to isolate the Palestinian people and bar the international peace activists from entering the Palestinian areas in support of the Palestinian cause.

The movement added that the eight activists intended to participate in summer camps and in voluntary work to aid the Palestinian residents in the occupied territories. One of the main activities this summer in Palestine is Freedom Summer 2006, which is a non-violent activity that aims to help the Palestinians, especially the villages, in their daily life, and to support their continuation of everyday life, such as going to school or getting through a checkpoint.     

The movement appealed international and human rights organizations to intervene and expose the Israeli illegal practices and continuous violations of human rights in Palestine.