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'‫Wel‬come to Palestine' Fly-in: "We invite international citizens to come, see, and get involved" wtp2012palestine

"There's no way into the occupied Palestinian territories other than the Israeli control points. Israel has turned Palestine into a giant prison, but even prisoners have the right to receive visitors."

On the 15th of April, an international delegation will board planes, under the title 'Welcome to Palestine'. Families from all across Europe will arrive with their children, to help build the first international school in Palestine, in the city of Bethlehem, at the invitation of a coalition of Palestinian groups, 'Welcome to Palestine'.

Coalition spokesperson, Mazin Qumsiyeh says "We are over 25 palestinian organizations. We invite international citizens to come see Palestine for themselves. Come get involved, building the school and other peaceful activities in palestine."

The delegation is scheduled to land in the Ben-Gurion Airport, and is already challenging the tolerance of the security apparatus in Israel. A news item on Reuters reports that the French government has already warned the families not to go, for fear of detentions by the Israeli authorities. Israel has already stated that "It would not allow anybody who threatened the public order to enter the country."

"The delegation has no intention of lying in the airport," says French delegation Member, Nicolas Shahshahani (64), "We don't see Israel as a field for our political action. Since there's no airport in the West Bank, there's no way into the occupied Palestinian territories other than the Israeli control points."

Last year, approximately a thousand police personnel were spread over Ben-Gurion Airport, as a reaction to the Fly-in. Only 7 of a few hundreds of delegation members reached their destination in the West Bank, with the aim of planting olive trees that have been uprooted by the army. The 127 passengers, who insisted on their right to freedom of movement, were held in custody for 4-5 days. Subsequently, they were deported through Ben-Gurion Airport, escorted by the police.

For additional details:

Tali (052-4246519), Ofer (054-4740825), Leehee (050-4880969)

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