Israel prepares for mass protest fly-in

July 6, 2011 at 1:02 PM
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LOD, Israel, July 6 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, visiting Ben-Gurion airport Wednesday, said Israel will resist a planned mass arrival by pro-Palestinian activists.

"Every country has the right to prevent the entry of provocateurs into its borders," he said, while telling security forces to "avoid unnecessary altercations," Haaretz reported.

Between 600 and 1,200 activists, mostly Europeans, are expected to fly into Ben-Gurion Friday in an event they call "Welcome Palestine," The Jerusalem Post reported. They plan to tell Israeli customs officials that they have come to visit "Palestine."

If they are allowed in, they plan to spend time in the occupied territories in activities supporting the Palestinian cause. If they are deported, the spectacle will publicize Israel's restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement.

Israel has provided intelligence to the United States, seven European countries and several airlines on people who plan on joining the action.

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