TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- British rock 'n' roll icon Paul McCartney reportedly has arrived in Israel and is rehearsing to prepare for his upcoming concert in Tel Aviv.
Thursday's "Friendship First" show marks the first time McCartney will play before an Israeli audience.
The BBC said the famed recording artist landed at Ben-Gurion airport and was scheduled to rehearse at Tel Aviv's Yarkon Park Wednesday, the day before his historic gig.
His visit has drawn some criticism, particularly from protesters who pleaded with McCartney to cancel the concert due to Israel's occupation of the West Bank.
"A lot of Palestinians who adored The Beatles are let down," Lisa Taraki, an activist and a professor at Bir Zeit University in the West Bank, told the BBC. "Despite appeals, he has not made a single gesture to the Palestinians."
McCartney has refused to cancel the show; however, stating: "I do what I think, and I have many friends who support Israel. I like to think that if I go to a place it becomes evident that my message is a peaceful one, and I hope that the idea will spread."