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Palestinian activists stopped at Swiss airports

Israeli authorities have denied entry to Israel for pro-Palestinian activists from Europe.

This content was published on April 15, 2012 - 16:20
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Members of “Welcome to Palestine” say at least 50 activists were prevented from flying to Tel Aviv from Basel, Geneva and Zurich on Sunday. Their names were on a blacklist maintained by Israel.

A spokesman for Geneva's cantonal police told the Swiss News Agency that 28 passengers with easyJet tickets were unable to board the plane to Tel Aviv as they had no entry permits for Israel.

The rejected passengers held a peaceful sit-in protest at the airline counter; police questioned one individual, but did not arrest him.

According to “Welcome to Palestine” spokesman Anas Muhamed, 20 activists proceeded to Tel Aviv as planned.

A spokeswoman for Basel airport said that 21 people were prevented from boarding their plane, but that the small protest was without incident.

Passengers were also turned away in Zurich; most were informed beforehand. A Swiss International Air Lines spokeswoman declined to say how many people were affected.

On Sunday, some 20 flights from Europe were scheduled to carry hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists to Israel. As Israeli national radio reported, about 650 police officers were waiting at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv.

Four French women who flew to Tel Aviv from Switzerland on Sunday were arrested upon arrival. The Israeli authorities have said that they will be deported along with five other activists who landed there without permission.

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