RAMALLAH, July 11 (JMCC) - Israeli officials deported 38 activists that sought to visit Palestinians in the occupied West Bank but were detained at Ben Gurion airport last weekend, reports the Jerusalem Post
As of Sunday night, 82 activists were still in Israeli prisons awaiting deportation.
The Interior Ministry said they would likely be sent home in the next few days.
Some activists who were able to make it through passport control at Ben-Gurion on Friday, along with Palestinians and other foreigners, gathered in Bethlehem on Sunday for the start of a week of protests.
Friday’s flights, dubbed the “Flightilla,” along with the protests, are part of the Welcome to Palestine initiative organized by 40 non-governmental groups.
In Bethlehem, the activists gathered around noon at a section of the West Bank security barrier that separates the Palestinian Authority-controlled city from Jerusalem.
For several minutes, they pounded in unison on a steel gate in the barrier with their fists, asking that it be opened. One woman used a stick.
They shouted, “Free Palestine” and “Shame on you!” at the soldiers in the guard tower above, who peered out from the windows to see what was going on.
The remaining activists (contrary to a previous JMCC.org report) are being held at detention centers around Israel. According to the
International Solidarity Movement, they are on hunger strike to protest their conditions.