Israeli police are preparing for the possibility that hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists will arrive on flights to Israel from across Europe later today, after Greece refused to let the Gaza-bound flotilla depart from its port. Police currently have information that a flight from Germany with 150 pro-Palestinian activists is scheduled to arrive this evening, followed by 130 activists on flights in the afternoon tomorrow.
Foreign airlines have been asked to present their lists of passengers to Israel before takeoff, and suspicious persons will be detained at Ben Gurion and be put back on planes to their own country. If several activists are clustered on one plane, police will ask the plane to land on an outer runway and will proceed to question all passengers. Many police monitoring airport order will be undercover, so as not to allow activists to lure police into using force, as in last year's Marmara incident.
Police expect to extend security measures for several weeks. A Palestinian activist told Haaretz:
We are receiving European, South American and sometimes Japanese activists all the time - sometimes via the Allenby Bridge and sometimes from the airport - to work on a variety of projects for the community. Some take an active part in the struggle against the fence and against the settlements. This is something people want to make a big deal about because of the number of people coming.In recent weeks, Israel's borders have been threatened, first by ground, when Syrian activists attempted to break a border fence in the North of Israel, then by sea, with new plans to sail ships into Israel's regional waters, and now by air, attempting to manipulate Israel's openness to the world and take commercial flights into the country to cause disorder. What other country feels threatened by groups of international activists--from supposedly friendly countries, who do not require visas--arriving at its airports, deceiving its personnel and infiltrating its society?
If these were peaceful activists, Israel would have no problem letting them in, as it has let in thousands of activists from around the world for years. Yet make no mistake; the current infiltration of activists is Marmara 2, where peaceful activists use their guise of non-violence to approach as close as possible to the shore, only to lash out, knowing no boundary to their misdirected rage. When a plane of 150 foreign activists aimed at your destruction arrive at the border of your country, however civilized and friendly their home country might be, no sovereign nation should have any second thoughts: the free entry and exit of persons in and out of a country is for the sake of travel, study, business, and pleasure--opening up the Holy Land for all who crave to experience its uniqueness, not for those whose gaze is fixed on its destruction by any legal or illegal means necessary.
May the borders of Israel be strengthened from within.
כי חזק בריחי שעריך ברך בניך בקרבך
השם גבולך שלום, חלב חטים ישביעך
He has strengthened the bars of your gates, and blessed your children within you
He has set peace at your borders, and feeds you the best of wheat