Civil Society organizations finalizing preparations for welcoming hundreds of International activists coming to the Palestinian territories in a campaign defined by the organizers as ‘Welcome to Palestine’. The organizing groups, which mount up to 40 organizations, groups and popular committees and political factions issued a press release on Saturday.The organizers are concerned that Israeli authorities will not allow estimated 600 – 1000 people to come through Ben Gorion airport on July 8. Israeli media sources reported that the Israeli government is preparing for the July campaign.
‘The international community must recognize the basic human right to receive visitors from abroad and support the right of their own citizens to travel to Palestine without harassment. Where Israel works to isolate us, we invite all to join with us openly and proudly. We do not accept the attempts to keep us apart or to force us to speak less than with full honesty,’ the press release said.
The planned July activities are part of series of events organized by Palestinian organizations in coordination with International peace groups held in December of 2010 as part of the efforts of the Palestine Justice Network, an advocacy group created following the Israeli war on Gaza in 2008/2009.
‘This July initiative comes in a planned series of events and follows similar events carried out in December under the slogan of ‘ending apartheid and ethnic cleansing’.’
The activities will start on July 9, which coincides with the seventh anniversary of the International Court of Justice ruling about the Israeli wall being built in the West Bank. The court ruled the wall illegal.
It also coincides with the sixth anniversary of the Palestinian civil society call to action for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
According to the press release, the activities will be held in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jordan Valley, Naqab (Negev) and Jerusalem, in addition to some other parts of the West Bank.
It seems that there are no plans to go to Gaza, contrary to what some Israeli media sources mentioned.
The July campaign comes as the Flotilla to break to the siege on Gaza is facing troubles with the Greek Authorities.