‘Welcome to Palestine’ activists plan another ‘flytilla’


Activists are gearing up for another “flytilla” to continue with their “Welcome to Palestine” campaign, a newspaper reported on Monday.

Pro-Palestine activists attempted their first fly-in to Ben-Gurion airport four months ago and are now aiming for another fly-in scheduled to take place on August 24, the Israeli Ynet News website reported.

The activists, who are planning to visit refugee camps in Israel before going to Allenby Crossing, where they will ask to pass over into the Palestinian Authority, will start their journey after arriving in Amman’s airport.

Campaign organizers, meanwhile, said this fly-in will be different from the previous ones as fewer activists, who hail from different countries but mostly from France, are expected.

The reason for this fly-in’s few number of activists was to ensure they could enter the Palestinian Authority without any hassle, said one of the campaign organizers, Jack Neno.

“We hope Israel lets them cross, but if it refuses, we will return with another campaign which will see masses of activists swarm Ben-Gurion airport.”

Bethlehem Governor, Abed al-Fatah Hamayel, who also said there would only be a few hundred activists at the upcoming “flytilla,” said that “one of the Israelis’ claims was that the last fly-in was a provocation,” was quoted as saying in Ynet.

“They said that the activists should have entered the Palestinian territories through Allenby Crossing and not through Ben-Gurion Airport, so we took their advice.”

Neno said that the plan was to bring supplies for Palestinian students.

“Last time, the Israeli government claimed that we were provocateurs trying to stir up trouble, and therefore this time we decided to have the activists enter the Palestinian Authority through the Allenby Crossing – in order to prove that the people only want to come and express solidarity with the Palestinians.”