Israel to deport some 120 pro-Palestinian activists

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 09, 2011 6:13 AM
Israel to deport some 120 pro-Palestinian activists

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel is set to deport at least 120 suspected pro-Palestinian activists Saturday, after stopping them entering the country, a police spokesman said.

"Over 120 passengers were denied entry and are awaiting deportation for security reasons, they will leave within the next 24-48 hours," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

Friday, protesters in several European countries mobilized to flock to Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv, in a challenge to Israeli curbs on entry to the occupied West Bank.

Their move came after Greece grounded a flotilla that hoped to sail to the Gaza Strip this month in a protest against Israel's blockade of the enclave.

Hundreds more pro-Palestinian activists hoping to join those that arrived in Israel were prevented from boarding flights for Tel Aviv from various European airports after Israel told airlines that certain people on passenger lists would not be allowed into the country.

Rosenfeld said hundreds of incoming passengers had been questioned on arrival in Tel Aviv Friday and were allowed to stay. The last flights containing suspected activists arrived in the early hours of Saturday.

(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Jon Hemming)