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Israel tells Lufthansa to keep pro-Palestinian activists off planes

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, July 8, IRNA -- Israel told several European airlines to remove pro-Palestinian activists from flights bound for the illegal Jewish state amid an impending mass fly-in of hundreds of international pro-Palestine activists, said German organizers of the mass fly-in.

Israel informed a number of European airlines, including Germany's Lufthansa and Air Berlin, Switzerland's Swiss Air and Hungary's Malev that they had to keep pro-Palestinian activists off planes.

Failure to comply with the Israeli directive would result in a delay on the flight and the return of deported pro-Palestinian activists on the same flight.

German organizers of the international campaign 'Welcome to Palestine' accused the European airlines of being nothing more than a 'poodle' of the Israelis for caving in to their demands.

There are reportedly plans for numerous anti-Israel protests at European airports later in the day.

The mass fly-in is aimed at drawing attention to the fact that Israel controls all entry points into the occupied Palestinian territories.

It discriminates between tourists visiting Israel and activists or Palestinians who openly declare their destination to be the West Bank.

According to organizers, those doing so are subjected to lengthy questioning and even risk deportation.

Hundreds of international activists were expected to land Friday at Tel Aviv airport on some 50 flights, many of them from across Europe and North America.

The 'Welcome to Palestine' campaign is a response to a call from West Bank Palestinian civil society organizations.

The mass fly-in is scheduled just as a flotilla of ships with pro-Palestinian activists who want to break Israel's blockade of Gaza are stranded in Greece.

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