Israel Busts 124 Pro-Palestinian Activists, Sofia Denies Bulgarians Arrested

Diplomacy | July 9, 2011, Saturday // 17:21|  views

Israel has arrested 124 persons from the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign, which some have called the "flytilla. EPA/BGNES

Israel's authorities have detained 124 mostly European pro-Palestinian activists who had managed to arrive to the country as part of a pro-Palestinian protests, in order to expel them.

International news agency have reported that the detained pro-Palestinian supporters were French, American, Belgian, Bulgarian, Dutch and Spanish.

Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry, however, has reacted immediately, with Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Vesela Cherneva denying the information and saying that no Bulgarians were detained in Israel, citing information from Israel's government.

"Access to Israeli territory was blocked to 124 pro-Palestinian militants coming from Europe, who are now being held in Israel jails," said Sabine Hadad, spokeswoman for the immigration service in Israel.

They will be expelled as soon as there are enough seats on respective flights. The activists were participating in the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign, which some have called the "flytilla," in which up to 800 activists were to fly in on a peaceful mission to visit Palestinian families.

Israeli authorities said they largely managed to pre-empt the campaign by foreign activists demonstrating for the right of access to the occupied West Bank.

According to Israeli news website Ynet said on Saturday that around 50 European pro-Palestinian activists who succeeded in breaching the checks at Ben Gurion Airport on Friday had crossed into the West Bank.

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Tags: Israel, Palestine, Palestinian, Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion Airport, flytilla, flotilla, Palestinian Authority, Foreign Ministry, Vesela Cherneva


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