A Dutch journalist who arrived at the Israeli Ben-Gurion Airport on Monday was detained by Israeli forces there for 24 hours, then deported to Holland and not allowed to enter Israel. The journalist, Abir Sarras, is employed by Radio Netherlands International, and was travelling to the Palestinian territories to report on the Catastrophe (Naqba) commemorations taking place in May. She was told by Israeli security at the airport that, due to the fact that she is part Palestinian, and carries a Palestinian ID in addition to her Dutch passport, she is not allowed to enter Israel through Ben Gurion airport. The Israeli Ministry of the Interior confirmed that any person who carries a Palestinian ID must travel the 'Palestinian route' through Jordan.
The experience of Sarras differed significantly from her counterpart, a white reporter for the same outlet, Radio Netherlands International, Nicolien den Boer, who arrived at Ben-Gurion airport on the 9th of April. Den Boer was questioned for five hours, but was allowed to enter, and was immediately provided with the Israeli narrative of the conflict at the Israeli government press office. She wrote about her experience on a blog that has been circulating through the internet, stating that the security measures she experienced are necessary in order for Israel to maintain its security in the face of 'terror' threats.
It is unknown whether Den Boer has visited the Palestinian side of the Wall, as Israelis regularly prevent Western journalists from travelling to the Israeli-controlled Palestinian territories to report on the daily realities of life under occupation. What is certain, however, is that Sarras will not be allowed to cross to the Israeli side of the Wall, if she is able to purchase another airline ticket and enter through the Israeli-designated 'Palestinian crossing'. Because she is part Palestinian, the Israeli authorities consider this foreign journalist to automatically constitute a threat, and will not allow her to see what's on their side of the Israeli-built Wall.
While Nicolien Den Boer will be able to travel freely to cover the story to which she is assigned, her fellow journalist, assigned by the same news outlet to the same assignment, will be confined in her coverage to the ever-shrinking ghettoes of the Palestinian West Bank – if, that is, she can afford to buy another airline ticket after being deported and flown back home to Holland.