The Israeli Immigration Agency reported Sunday evening that 36 pro-Palestine activists of the “Welcome To Palestine” campaign, who flew from Europe to Tel Aviv, were deported, while 82 activists are still detained awaiting deportation. Israeli Immigration Spokeswoman, Sabine Haddad, stated that she “hopes the rest of the activists will be deported by to their countries soon”, depending on availability on flights departing from the country.
Haddad added that the 22 of the deported activists are Belgian, 13 are German, and one from Spain.
82 activists are still imprisoned in Beer Sheva, Al Ramla and Tel Aviv; most of them are French, while the rest are Americans, Belgian, Bulgarian, Spanish and Dutch.
The activists are members of the “Welcome to Palestine” Campaign, as nearly 800 activists were planning to fly into Palestine in a peaceful mission challenging Israel’s violations and illegal occupation of Palestine.
Israel considers the act a “violation” to its sovereignty and conducted extensive diplomatic and security campaigns to block the “flytilla”.
Organizers of the “Welcome To Palestine” initiative said that their mission has nothing to do with the Flotilla against the Israeli siege on Gaza, and that the mission aims at exposing the reality of life in Palestine under Israeli occupation.
The Maan News Agency reported that four activists from Germany and Holland were allowed to remain in the country after signing pledges stating that “they will not provoke disorder”, and to avoid places that witness Israeli-Palestinian confrontation.
Israeli Ynet News reported that nearly 50 European nationals managed to enter the country despite all measures at the Ben Gurion Airport, and crossed into the occupied West Bank.