Despite threats from Israeli security, hundreds of Palestinian solidarity activists plan to fly into Tel Aviv’s airport.This Friday, July 8, hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists are planning to fly to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport in a display of solidarity with Palestinians living in the occupied territories.
According to organisers, at least 500 people have already scheduled flights to Israel, including Palestinians that will fly from Europe, North and South America, Asia, and Africa.
The “fly in”, as organisers are referring to the action, will bring protesters to Tel Aviv where they will all arrive within a two-hour period. At least fifteen organisations are involved in the event which is timed to coincide with peaceful demonstrations and actions within the occupied territories that have been set up by Palestinians. The travellers plan to travel from the airport to the West Bank, a move that would challenge the long-standing Israeli government policy that has forbidden such movement.
“The goal is very clear, we are all fed up with being obliged to lie when we arrive in Allenby [bridge] or Ben Gurion [Airport] when visiting our Palestinian friends,” Mireille Rumeau, an organiser with the International Solidarity Movement in Paris told Al Jazeera.
“We are fed up with lying about being tourists, or coming for a pilgrimage. Now, they are all going to say: ‘we are coming to visit our Palestinian friends that have invited us.’ If they get through, there are events planned for Palestinian groups for us to take part in, as we were invited by them six months ago, and we are answering their call.”
Rumeau said that approximately 350 of the participants that already have their tickets are from France, and others are flying from Italy, Belgium, and Germany. She also hopes the action will bring attention to the lack of Palestinians’ ability to move freely, and that, as the sea flotilla aimed to bring attention to the Israeli naval blockade, this action will highlight how Israel also bars air access to the occupied Palestinian territories.
The ‘hooligans’ are coming
Mazin Qumsiyeh is the international media spokesperson for the Welcome to Palestine Campaign in the West Bank. He spoke with Al Jazeera about the upcoming “fly in” and how it was connected to events his group is coordinating in the occupied territories.