Our Campaign aims

A campaign to raise awareness of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.
We support the call for Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions of Israel and Israeli goods.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Pro- Palestine window protest continues

 
One of the workers at the wholesalers has written up the full story...
 
After the Israeli air attacks on Gaza in December 2008 / January 2009 the people at my workplace all agreed that we should use our window on Fawcett Road to show our outrage - and our solidarity with the Palestinian people. In the grand scheme of things it's not exactly the greatest act of resistance, but no matter how small a gesture, it felt that we were at least doing something.
 

Friday, 20 April 2012

The Nine Britons are released from Israeli Prison and return home


All of the remaining British contingent of Welcome to Palestine 2012
arrived at Manchester Airport last night at 10.30pm, having spent 5 days in
Givon Prison, Ramla. There were never charged with any crime nor given any
explanations to why they were detained in
the first place. The Israeli crackdown
on anyone attempting to openly visit
Palestine is more repressive than ever,
and the British Government is blatantly
colluding in this practice as is evidenced by
'advice' they give on their website.

One detainee is quoted as saying:  'Really the Home Office 
should be transparent about it on their website 
if you want to travel to the West Bank, we advise you to lie'.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Five British Women held in Givon Prison near Tel Aviv continue to refuse food

 

The five British women imprisoned by the Israeli government for their part in ‘Welcome to Palestine 2012’ are refusing food in support of the demandsof Palestinian political prisoners. Some 3,500 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel started a hunger strike yesterday demanding rights to family visits and education, an end to isolation and an end to administrative detention, a procedure under  which detainees are held without charge or trial. Khader Adnan, who ended his protest hunger strike in February after 67 days, was released yesterday. There are currently three Palestinian political prisoners who have been striking for more than 40 days. In total Israel holds 4,610 political prisoners, including 6 women and 203 children.

The five women, from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Manchester, Dumfries and Glasgow, were 
taken to Givon prisonon landing at Tel Aviv airport on Sunday. They were amongst 
1,300 international participants of the ‘Welcome to Palestine’ initiative that sought to highlight Israel’s blockade of the West Bank and attempts to isolate Palestinians. In addition to the five women, four British men are being held at Givon prison near Tel Aviv.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Welcome to Palestine detainees refuse food in solidarity with Palestinian Prisoners' Hunger Strike:

Today the 12 British people who flew with Welcome to Palestine 2012 on Sunday and who are currently detained in Givon Prison Ramlah, are refusing food in solidarity with 1200 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike protesting administrative detention. 
 One of these is Joy Cherkaoui, a community work has long been involved in social justice issues. She was part of the group who last year first attempted to visit the West Bank via Tel Aviv openly declaring the purpose of their visit. Then she spent 6 days in the same Prison with 127 others.  Joy lives in Castle Douglas and is treasurer of the local branch of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign. She has one grown up son, who lives in Edinburgh.
   
You can learn more about  the others being detained and why they took part in the initiative http://welcometopalestine.info/index.php/participant-profiles-uk-us

Monday, 16 April 2012

Revs thoughts on being deported

Sams thoughts on being deported

40% of Israeli black-list had no history of activism

Forty percent of the non-Israeli citizens whose names appeared on Israeli blacklist ahead of Sunday's Flytilla protest by pro-Palestinian activists were added to the list despite the fact that the security service had no concrete information showing they were connected with the protest in any way. This information comes from a high-ranking Israeli source with knowledge of the blacklist, who added that the Shin Bet (Israeli 'intelligence service') also had no solid grounds for believing that 470 of the 1,200 people whom Israel labeled as "pro-Palestinian activists" intended to do anything illegal. Read more

Sam and Rev deported from Israel

Sam and Rev back in the UK after being deported by Israel in a 12 hour marathon flight. They got on a flight at 12.25pm, flew to Israel, were put back on a plane and flown back to the UK. They arrived at 12.30am in Luton.
Read a list of people who were refused permission to board the planes to Israel.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Press TV report from Paris

Hundreds of activists at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, the departure site for nearly half of the group’s 1,200 participants, were barred from flying to Tel Aviv on Sunday, a Press TV correspondent reported. Watch the TV report here
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/236403.html

Israeli police have arrested 40 pro-Palestinian activists from the “Welcome to Palestine 2012” campaign at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

Israeli police have arrested 40 pro-Palestinian activists from the “Welcome to Palestine 2012” campaign at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. They have all been released. On Sunday, 33 French nationals, two Spanish activists, two Italians, one Swiss, one Canadian and one Portuguese were arrested by Israeli police.Israel deployed hundreds of police forces at the airport to stop activists from entering the occupied Palestinian territories.
Meanwhile, major European airlines cancelled scores of tickets for passengers heading for Palestine following heavy Israeli pressure.Angry activists held demonstrations at airports in several European capitals on Sunday after they were prevented from boarding flights despite having tickets. Organizers of the “flytilla” to Palestine, the “Welcome to Palestine 2012” campaign, had previously scheduled a gathering of activists at Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday. The campaigners had plans to travel to the West Bank city of Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities in the territory to express support for the Palestinian cause. This is not the first flytilla that planned a trip to the occupied Palestinian territories. In July 2011, Israeli authorities made intense efforts to interrupt the first flytilla and arrested a number of activists. Several European countries also prohibited activists from boarding their flights as the Tel Aviv regime had already blacklisted them.

Are EasyJet lying to the media?

While the 3 people are deported back to the UK tonight, it appears that EasyJet have been lying to the media about stopping people boarding at Luton airport.From everyone I have spoken I am convinced that EasyJet didn't actually stop anyone from getting on the plane at Luton to Israel. When I asked the airline how many people they stopped from boarding, a spokesperson for EasyJet told me 'I don't have an exact number but it I can say it is not a significant number of people who are affected.' This sounds like bullshit so I am not sure what games EasyJet are playing. Perhaps they want to curry favour with Israel?

3 people from Swansea Palestine Community Link deported from Israel

3 people from the Swansea Palestine Community Link flew into Israel only to be arrested at the airport at 17.30pm today. Uma Sims, Rev and Sam were held until 7pm and then transferred onto another plane. They are being deported from Israel back to the UK. This is their statement made before they flew.

Interview with D Murphy

Swansea Palestine Community Link on route to Israel

Media reports state that easyJet has joined other carriers in preventing pro-Palestinian activists from boarding flights to Israel.

“easyJet, along with all other airlines which operate flights to Israel, has been advised by the Israeli Border Authority that a number of passengers due to travel over the weekend will not be allowed to enter Israel,” easyJet said in a statement.

“easyJet is compliant with all legislation where it operates and, as part of our legal obligation, must refuse carriage of any passenger at the request of the relevant authorities. This also protects our customers from the inconvenience of arriving into Israel and either being detained or returned immediately.”

An easyJet spokesperson told AFP that it had stopped passengers from boarding Israel-bound flights from London and Switzerland.

“It’s not affecting a significant number of easyJet passengers,” the spokesperson added.

In Israel, hundreds of police were on the lookout for pro-Palestinian activists flying in to the country’s main airport on Sunday, as Europe’s main airlines faced passenger fury after cancelling scores of tickets.

By early afternoon, there was little visible movement inside Terminal 3 at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, although police said they had detained nine passengers for questioning on suspicion of being part of the “Welcome to Palestine” fly-in campaign, better known as the “flytilla”.

Despite these reports as far as we know, 5 members of Swansea Palestine Community Link are currently in the air on route to Israel. Will they be allowed to pass onto Palestine or will Israel react and lock them up? Stay tuned. They land at 19.25pm local time (GMT 15.25pm)

First photos of arrests at Tel Aviv airport

These are possibly Israeli activists who protested at airport being arrested in Israel.

D is interviewed at Luton airport by Israeli TV

Lior from Channel 2 Israeli News interviewd D Murphy from Swansea Palestine Community Link before she went to board the EasyJet plane. The reporter is from an Israeli company producing the Prime time news program on the Israeli commercial Channel 2, and most of its current affairs and news programs and items for that commercial channel. She is currently in a long line of people at the departure gate.

How EasyJet is operating at other airports

We are learning how EasyJet and Israel is operating from their behaviour at Geneva airport. At 6 am, a half-dozen passengers, were provided with their boarding passes but have been then arrested by customs at the airport and placed in a room.

There is evidence that the management of Easyjet is operating in real time with Israel. When a ticket is purchased to Tel Aviv, the customer’s identity is provided to Israel. Israel presumably is searching for any Palestine activity. In one hour, Easyjet blocks the passenger from flying.

Protest works at Manchester airport

People staged a protest this morning at Manchester airport. Welcome to Palestine 2012 participants with family, friends and supporters protested at the Jet2 desk at Manchester airport after the airline tore up boarding passes on instruction of the Israeli government.
Watch videos of the protest here

Protesters chanted "Jet2 shame on you, do what Israel tells you to".
Jet2 has distributed letters confirming they have "reviewed their policy" and will now refund passengers who were denied boarding. Protest works!

We have also heard that people have been allowed onto the Jet2 plane.

On route to the airport now

The members of Swansea Palestine community Link are on route to the airport now to hopefully board the EasyJet at Noon to Tel Aviv.
At the airport, one member will be interviewed by Israeli news for TV and then we will see if she is allowed to fly or not.

Airport authorities prevent activists from boarding in Geneva, Milhouse, Paris. In Paris and Brussels, reports on police violence against activists. Detention of passengers with boarding passes in Geneva this morning. 650 uniformed security and many others under cover waiting to arrest the Welcome to Palestine participants and welcoming groups of activists in Ben Gurion airport. Nine activists were arrested at the airport so far.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Israel forces tourists to sign a contract to visit the country

A Swedish tourist trying to enter Israel was made to sign a “contract” promising she won’t get in touch with “pro-Palestinian” organisations, and acknowledging she’ll get deported if she “gets caught doing even one of these things.”

Israel is losing all sense of reality it seems.

Israel has drafted a bizzare "welcome" letter

Pro-Palestinian activists who do manage to dodge Israels airline ban and finally arrive in Tel Aviv will get a letter. Israel has drafted a bizzare formal "welcome" letter from the Israeli government.
It reads:
"Dear activist, we appreciate your choosing to make Israel the object of your humanitarian concerns," the letter reads. "We know there were many other worthy choices.You could have chosen to protest the Syrian regime's daily savagery against its own people, which has claimed thousands of lives.

You could have chosen to protest the Iranian regime's brutal crackdown on dissent and support of terrorism throughout the world. You could have chosen to protest Hamas rule in Gaza, where terror organizations commit a double war crime by firing rockets at civilians and hiding behind civilians.

"But instead you chose to protest against Israel, the Middle East's sole democracy, where women are equal, the press criticizes the government, human rights organizations can operate freely, religious freedom is protected for all and minorities do not live in fear.

The letter concludes: "Therefore we suggest to let you solve first the real problems of the region, and then come back and share with us your experience. Have a nice flight.

Press TV reports on Israel's banning of passengers

Press TV reports on Israels banning of passengers

Denied Entry- the letter from Israel to Airlines

This is the letter which Israel is sending to Airlines all over the World to stop Palestine supporters from traveling.

Welsh Palestine Supporters expect to be denied entry by EasyJet.

Swansea Palestine Community Link
Press Release

Welsh Palestine Supporters expect to be denied entry by EasyJet.

A group of Welsh people are expected to blocked from boarding an EasyJet
aircraft on Sunday April 15 at Luton airport.

EasyJet in England said it had been advised by Israel of a number of
passengers that would not be allowed to enter the country. The airline
said it had a legal obligation to "refuse carriage of any passenger at the
request of the relevant authorities."

At least 6 people from Swansea Palestine Community Link have purchased the
£250 airline tickets from EasyJet with the intention of flying into Israel
on route to Palestine.

One passenger, and a co-founder of Swansea Palestine Community Link, D
Murphy said

‘I do not believe I will get the opportunity to visit the area, in
particular Bethlehem and Ramalah. Blockades are being enforced to prevent
campaigners from landing, with Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak
Aharonovitch already stating that names have been forwarded to
international airports in the hope that they will be prevented from
boarding flights.’

Last year Ms Murphy flew into Israel and openly stated that her
destination was Palestine. The Israeli authorities responded by locking
the 58 year old grandmother and 119 other internationals in a high
security prison fro 6 nights until they deported them all.

Palestine and the West Bank is accessible only by traveling from Israel’s
Ben Gurion airport or through the Israeli-controlled border crossings. For
this reason, travelers visiting the West Bank are often advised to play
coy and answer mainly about visiting holy sites in Jerusalem or the
Galilee in northern Israel. But volunteers or activists whose main purpose
is entering the Palestinian Territories must almost certainly obfuscate
their purpose for visiting, or risk intense questioning, strip search, or
deportation
END

Contact website http://www.swanseapalestine.org
Media interviews paulo@undercurrents.org

How to complain to EasyJet

Complain to Easyjet here

This is the email which one person sent

Dear Sir or Madam if EasyJet,
In light of your cancellation of legitimate flights booked by individuals who are neither listed terrorists or convicted criminals on behalf of the Israeli government, the international community hereby asks you to halt all flights to and from the apartheid state Israel.
Most cordially,

Easyjet stops passengers in France from going to Israel

Will Easyjet in England follow the same lines as other airlines and stop people boarding the plane on Sunday?
Easyjet in France sent this email out to passengers;
We regret to inform you that Israel Immigration Authorities have informed us that you will be refused entry to Israel and instructed us to refuse you carriage. We have therefore had no choice but to cancel your reservation on easyJet flight to Tel Aviv on 15/04/2012. You will receive a full refund of your booking….

Please do not go to the airport as the Israeli Immigration Authorities have instructed us to refuse you carriage.
If you require further information relating to the refusal of travel may we suggest that you make contact with the Israeli Embassy in Bern. Their contact details are noted below for your information.
Embassy of Israel
Chancellery
Alpenstrasse 32
P.O.Box
3006 Bern
Phone number : +41(0)31 356 35 00 – Fax : +41(0)31 356 35 65

We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause you and please be assured we are working under the instruction of the Israeli Immigration Authorities and will be unable to accept you for travel until so advised by the authorities.
Yours Sincerely
easyJet Customer Services

Friday, 13 April 2012

Why do we have to go to Israel if we want to go to Palestine?

The West Bank is accessible only by traveling from Israel’s Ben Gurion airport or through the Israeli-controlled border crossings. For this reason, travelers visiting the West Bank are often advised to play coy and answer mainly about visiting holy sites in Jerusalem or the Galilee in northern Israel. But volunteers or activists whose main purpose is entering the Palestinian Territories must almost certainly obfuscate their purpose for visiting, or risk intense questioning, strip search, or deportation

Easyjet supporting Israeli blockade

Latest News reports say airlines are supporting the blockade by refusing to take passengers.
'EasyJet in England said it had been advised by Israel of a number of passengers that would not be allowed to enter the country. The airline said it had a legal obligation to "refuse carriage of any passenger at the request of the relevant authorities."

The Spanish Iberia airline said it had been asked by the Israeli government to increase security checks on passengers bound for Tel Aviv. As of next week, Iberia will be advising passengers with that destination to check in one and a half hours prior to boarding time.

Gaza TV News reports that Air France are the latest airline to bow to Israel's wishes by cancelling flights for those intending to fly to Israel this Sunday
Mick Napier, a British activist coordinator, said the group would sue any airline which refuses to board activists bound for Israel.

He said organizers have not compiled a complete list of all the Europeans and North Americans who have booked flights for the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign, to prevent Israel from discovering the list and blocking their entry.

"We're not being conspiratorial here, but we don't want to make the Israelis' job easy," Napier said.
read more

Support us on Facebook

6 people from Wales will be traveling from Luton Airport to Israel on Sunday, attempting to OPENLY visit Bethlehem in the West Bank. Last year those who tried to do this were detained in an Israeli prison.

Follow their journey on Facebook
'Swansea Palestine Community Link'

and ENDORSE the action on www.welcometopalestine.info

Cork News- Irish newspapers report on Swansea Palestine

A Cork woman has pledged to go on symbolic hunger strike if she is detained in Israel as part of a global initiative supporting the right to openly visit Palestine. Dee Murphy, originally from South Douglas Road, but based in Swansea, will fly out from a British airport to Tel Aviv this Sunday as part of the Welcome to Palestine 2012 ‘flytilla’, named after the seafaring Gaza Freedom Flotilla in 2010. The event, which will include up to 2,000 people from across the globe, will highlight Israel’s control of access to the West Bank.

Ms Murphy told The Cork News that she does not believe she will get the opportunity to visit the area, in particular Bethlehem and Ramalah. She outlined that blockades are being enforced to prevent campaigners from landing, with Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch already stating that names have been forwarded to international airports in the hope that they will be prevented from boarding flights.

A sizable police presence at the Ben Gurion International Airport will also arrest activists as they arrive, with pro-Palestinian campaigners held at airport detention facilities until flights become available to take them home. Ms Murphy, who was detained last year, outlined that campaigners have “committed a week” to the event, although there is widespread belief that a majority will be detained. “They are sending agents to airports and asking to see passenger lists, so they can stop people before they board the plane. For those of us who travelled last year, that is a big concern.

“If we are allowed to board and are detained at Tel Aviv, then on Tuesday April 17th it is Palestine Prisoners Day, with prisoners set to refuse food. We will also be making a symbolic gesture by refusing food on that day, until we are released,” she said.

One of the founding members of the Swansea Palestine organisation, Ms Murphy outlined that the 2,000 strong contingent would not lie in order to enter into Palestine. “Last year we felt that we shouldn’t have to lie to visit our friends. However, as soon as we said openly that we were going to Bethlehem, we were taken to one side and most of us were detained for six nights,” she stated.

She added that the group were not “trouble-makers” or “hooligans”, and would consist of a large number of people travelling with their families. Ms Murphy, who has travelled to the West Bank twice and Gaza once, explained that she would be visiting Bethlehem to “lay foundations for a kindergarten”. “There is a huge array of people involved and we are all just asking why should Palestine be punished,” she said.
http://thecorknews.ie/articles/cork-woman-join-palestine-%E2%80%98flytilla%E2%80%99-5141

How to support the people leaving from Wales for Palestine

Dear Friends,
There are 6 of us from Wales - 5 from Swansea, 1 from Barry - who are
taking part in the Welcome to Palestine 2012 initiative leaving on Sunday
noon for the West Bank in Palestine via Tel Aviv, Israel.

As like last year, we are very likely to be arrested and imprisoned in Tel
Aviv and you can get up-to-the-minute news and the names of those of those
who are taking part on:

http://www.swanseapalestine.org

and we also have a FaceBook page:
https://www.facebook.com/SwanseaPalestineCommunityLink
which will be updated as much as possible from the blog.

But we really need your support and you can give it in the following ways:

Ring one (or all) of the numbers below voicing your feelings and concern
about our unnecessary detention on these numbers:

UK Foreign Office
Phone: 0845 850 2829 (24hrs,7 Days a week)

UK Consulate in TEL AVIV
On Sunday evening / night ring :
Global Response Centre, telephone number : 0927 3 725 1285
Embassy:
Mon-Thurs: 0800-1600, Fri: 0800-1330
Consular Section:
Mon-Fri: 0830-12:30 0972 3 725 1203

Please also write or email your MP if you can find the time.

Thanks so much,
d.Murphy
on behalf of the Welcome to Palestine 2012 Welsh contingent.

UK Government statement on Flytilla

The Government is supporting Israel This has been published on their website.
'We are aware of a planned ‘Flightilla’ on 15-16 April. We advise against any attempt to enter Israel as part of a ‘Flightilla’. Previously, the Israeli authorities have limited certain travellers’ freedom to travel within Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Israeli authorities do not provide clear information about which categories of travellers can expect to be subject to these restrictions, nor on the nature of these restrictions. Travelling as part of a ’Flightilla’ has in the past led to detention in Israel, as well as deportation, which could restrict future travel to Israel.'
Foreign Offic

The Zionist Jewish Telegraph ratchets up the propaganda against flytilla

The Zionist Jewish Telegraph carries an article this week, ‘Flytilla‘ to invade Israel on last year’s effort to peacefully enter Palestine, claiming that a “similar attack took place last year” and that travellers attempting to enter Palestine in April actually aim to cause “maximum chaos”. After claiming that the attempt to enter Palestine openly and peacefully is “an attack”, the weekly newspaper attempts to mobilise the entire UK Jewish community in support of the siege of Palestine: “If the community is aware of anyone who intends to cause trouble they should inform the Israeli embassy.” This sinister move should be repudiated by Jewish community leaders and activists.

If people get through Israeli checkpoints...

This is the plan for people if they can get past the Israeli border

Monday 16 April: Visit to Jordan Valley, learn about the JNF and water apartheid there

Tuesday 17 April: Visit to Hebron

Wednesday 18 April: Day in Bethlehem, including workshops at Bethlehem University on “how to end the Ocupation”

Thursday 19 April: Visit to Jerusalem, Silwan & Sheikh Jarrah

Friday 20 April: Visit to Ramallah
Projects will include Bethlehem school project, construction of a Palestine refugees’ museum, olive tree re-planting in areas of army/settler destruction,

Airlines are refusing to carry paid up passengers

Quite a few of the flytilla people have received a ‘boarding denied’ email from Jet2 (who fly out from Manchester to Israel. Luftansa is also refusing to take people on board on Sunday. But hundreds from across Europe should still get through to Tel Aviv and face stint in an Israeli prison.

The email from Jet2 stated
'Jet2.com is required by the Israeli authorities to provide Advance Passenger Information in relation to all passengers that it carries on flights to Israel. Advance Passenger Information includes a passenger's name, date of birth, passport number and nationality.

In accordance with Article 7 of its Terms and Conditions, Jet2.com has provided Advance Passenger Information in respect of your flight from Manchester to Israel. As a result of providing that Information, Jet2.com has been informed by the Israeli authorities that you will not be not permitted to enter Israel. Consequently, if Jet2.com carries you to Israel, you will be refused entry and Jet2.com will be liable for both a fine and your return to Manchester.

As a result, and in accordance with Article 24 of its Terms and Conditions, Jet2.com: "may refuse to carry you where such action is necessary for reasons of safety and/or security and/or to comply with any applicable laws, regulations or orders of any country to be flown from, into or over including laws or regulations relating to Advance Passenger Information requirements." We regret that, in light of the decision taken by the Israeli authorities, we are unable to accept you for carriage to Israel on this occasion and your booking with Jet2.com has been cancelled.

In accordance with Article 26.3 of its Terms and Conditions, Jet2.com is a non-refundable airline and we will therefore be unable to offer any refund, with the exception of a refund of the applicable taxes paid, as a result of the decision taken by the Israeli authorities.
Jet2.com would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of your booking, which we hope you will appreciate is totally beyond our control.

So passengers are refused the service and they can't get a refund. Outrageous!

Dozens of passengers who bought a plane ticket to travel to Tel Aviv Sunday on April 15 were notified Thursday by the airline Lufthansa that their reservation was canceled, ” by order of Israel.”
“Israel has produced a list of names of persons to whom this country denies entry. Yours is on it, which brings us to cancel your ticket and we immediately after will refund to your credit card. ” as have said employees of Lufthansa to the passengers.

Having failed to discern in the lists of passengers previously sent to Israel by the airlines, those who intended to participate in the mission Welcome to Palestine and those who were not involved, the Israeli government, greatly accustomed to large “collateral damage” has apparently decided to put them in bulk on its blacklist. At least two people not involved in the mission and had planned to stay in Israel, we have been reported on the evening of Thursday.

Passengers on Lufthansa flights have not committed any offense, and do not accept these mafia-methods, favored by governments complicit in the imprisonment of the Palestinian people, starting with the French government.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

TV report about Flytilla 2

Two Belgians file war crimes complaint against Israeli leaders over "flytilla" abuse

Two activists have filed a war crimes complaint with federal prosecutors in Belgium, against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials.

Hajar Moumni and Muhammad Najar allege they were detained, mistreated, beaten and harshly interrogated when they took part in the “Welcome to Palestine” solidarity fly-in last summer, Belgian media have reported.

Hundreds of activists whose declared intention was to visit the West Bank at the invitation of Palestinians were detained and deported, while a tiny handful were allowed in after legal challenges to Israel’s effort to deport them.
Read more

Israel braces for another 'flytilla'

Israeli media are buzzing about our trip to Palestine on Sunday April 15th
6 people from Wales will join the flytilla

Ynet news stated
Israel believes hundreds, possibly thousands of pro-Palestinian activists are set to stage fly-in to Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday ahead of trip to Palestinian Authority
Yair Altman
Latest Update: 04.10.12, 00:40 / Israel News
Is a second fly-in underway? Hundreds, possibly thousands, of foreign pro-Palestinian activists are set to arrive in Israel via the Ben Gurion International Airport on Sunday ahead of trip to Palestinian Authority.

The measure is perceived as having volatile potential, and police sources said Monday that security forces are gearing to stop the activists at the airport should they cause a public disturbance – something authorities believe is very likely.
Read more

Welcome to Palestine 2012 campaign launched in Bethlehem

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Irish Times: Israel plans to block pro-Palestinian 'fly-in'

Swansea Palestine member was interviewed for The Irish Times and she appears in this story today.

By MARK WEISS in Jerusalem, and KITTY HOLLAND
ISRAEL HAS finalised plans which, it hopes, will obstruct pro-Palestinian activists’ plans to fly to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport on Sunday and then travel on to the West Bank.
Organisers hope that more than 2,000 people will join this year’s “Welcome to Palestine ” campaign and fly to Tel Aviv from airports across Europe.
Among the Irish passport holders flying on Sunday will be Dee Murphy (58), from Cork, who is “hoping to get through and go to Bethlehem to help lay cornerstones for a kindergarten” as well as to “see friends and make links with people”.
“The Israelis say what we want to do is an aggressive act. The point is to see friends and also to challenge the Israelis stopping people going to Palestine. I just want to visit. Why can’t I?”

Terry Galloghly (73), from Belfast, asks a similar question: “I have been three times to Palestine and each time I have had to lie to to the Israelis to be allowed in.
“Last time, in December, I said I was visiting Christian sites. I did visit Christian sites but that wasn’t the purpose of my visit. This time I am going to be frank and honest and tell them I am there for the peaceful purpose of visiting my friends.

“My Irish passport asks that . . . be allowed to pass freely and without hindrance. I expect the Israelis to respect that.”
Israel views the campaign, dubbed the “flytilla”, as provocation, and is co-ordinating efforts with airlines in an attempt to stop the activists boarding flights at European airports.

Israel’s public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, said pro-Palestinian campaigners who do arrive will be held at airport detention facilities until flights are available to take them home.
“Israel will prevent this provocation, the same way any other country bars the entry of hostile entities,” he said. “We will handle the provocateurs as quickly and efficiently as possible, but we will not be chasing them down the airport halls.”

Mr Aharonovitch held a number of meetings at Ben Gurion airport to co-ordinate plans between the police, the airport authority, customs and immigration services.
Israel believes the first activists may arrive on Friday and Saturday in an effort to bypass the Israeli security clampdown. Sunday coincides with the end of both Easter and the Jewish Passover holiday, and will be one of Ben Gurion airport’s busiest days of the year.

West Bank organisers of the campaign said the aim was to highlight Israel’s control of access to the area.
A statement on the Welcome to Palestine website reads, “There is no way into Palestine other than through Israeli control points. Israel has turned Palestine into a giant prison, but prisoners have a right to receive visitors.”
The organisers said several European airports have said they will not prevent participants from boarding Israel-bound planes, as this involves reimbursing passengers for their ticket.

This is the third time a fly-in has been arranged. In 2010 organisers claimed that about 100 foreigners were able to arrive without incident, reach the West Bank and participate in a series of solidarity events.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2012/0411/1224314608297.html

Monday, 9 April 2012

Welcome to Palestine 2012

Swansea Palestine Community Link endorse the call from the Welcome to Palestine 2012 Initiative for supporters of Palestinian human and national rights around the world to openly visit Palestine in April

"There is no way into Palestine other than through Israeli control points. Israel has turned Palestine into a giant prison, but prisoners have a right to receive visitors.


"Welcome to Palestine 2012 will again challenge Israel's policy of isolating the West Bank while the settler paramilitaries and army commit brutal crimes against a virtually defenceless Palestinian civilian population.

"We call on governments to support the right of Palestinians to receive visitors and the right of their own citizens to visit Palestine openly.

"In April the participants in Welcome to Palestine 2012 ask to be allowed to pass through Tel Aviv airport without hindrance and to proceed to the West Bank to take part in a project there for children to benefit from the right to education."

Learn more
http://welcometopalestine.info/

Israel bans 84 year poet from country over poem

The celebrated German author G√ľnter Grass has been declared persona non grata in Israel following the publication of his poem warning that the Jewish state's nuclear programme was a threat to an "already fragile world peace".

More here