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Israeli Apartheid Government Denies Entry to International Activist Heading to Bethlehem, while Allowing Entry to Supporters of Violent Settlers

Welcome to Palestine, Gush Shalom, August 27, 2012


The Welcome to Palestine (WTP) Campaign decries the Israeli denial of entry via the Allenby Bridge to over 100 internationals who wanted to visit us in the occupied Palestinian Territories. Two previous WTP delegations tried to enter the occupied West Bank via the Ben Gurion airport in July 2011 and April 2012.

In both cases, Israeli authorities denied access en masse to hundreds of visitors whose only “crime” was declaring honestly that they are coming to visit people under occupation.  The Israeli authorities’ excuses were shown to be lies.  Even Israeli authorities admitted to fabricating lists to give to airlines used to deny international visitors from boarding.  Israel also continues to deny the Internationally-recognized right of millions of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands.  By isolating the remaining Palestinians from the eyes of the international community, Israel confirms that it is an apartheid racist state.

At one point an Israeli position presented to the International media was that visitors could come through Jordan to go to the Palestinian Authority areas in the West Bank. The denial of entry today (Sunday, 26 August, 2012) at the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Jordan shows that the previous policies of siege and isolation continue. The siege on the occupied West Bank, just like the siege on Gaza, is immoral and illegal and must end.

Even prisoners are entitled to be visited. When governments fail to act, individuals act. We thus will continue to initiate more Welcome to Palestine campaigns. We insist on the freedom of entry. As Israel persists in these unjust policies, it is only fair to ask all countries to reciprocate by denying Israelis entry to these countries.

We will not give up, and we will keep trying.


At the Jordan Bridges border crossings, Israeli authorities prevented the entry of more than a hundred international activists

Gush Shalom: "The country's border crossings are wide open to the international friends of the violent settlers"


About 7.30 pm, on August 26, 2012, more than a hundred activists from all over the world arrived from Jordan to the Israeli border crossings at the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge, telling that they on their way to Bethlehem at the invitation of its Palestinian governor and of civil society organizations there, and that they were carrying  with them notebooks and school equipment for Palestinian pupils about to begin their school year. However, their entry into the West Bank was denied.  In the Israeli-controlled area of the Allenby Bridge was seen a major alert of military forces, and journalists there were told that the area had been declared "a closed military zone".

"They did not even let us get off the bus," said Olivia Zemor of Paris, one of the organizers of the visit. "They collected our passports and a few minutes later returned them with each and every passport stamped 'Entry denied'. The soldiers refused to give any explanation, they just said - that's it, your entry is denied, go back to Jordan." Zemour noted that last year, when she and her fellows tried to reach the Palestinian Territories through Ben Gurion Airport, they were told, "Why don't you come through the Jordan bridges?". "So we did try to get through the Jordan bridges, and now we got a definite answer from the government of Israel."

"Violent settlers, those who under the name of 'price tag' set olive trees and  mosques on fire, are all the time getting reinforcements from abroad. For the settlers' friends, Jews and Christians, Israel's border crossings are wide open.  From the airport they go to the settlements" says Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson. "When the Palestinians living under Israel's rule try to invite guests to come and visit them, the government of Israel instructs the army and police to block their way. The government has the power and the ability to act in such a belligerent and arbitrary way. But by so doing, the government ends up emphasizing and demonstrating to the entire world that – despite the so- called 'judicial report' which the government commissioned from Judge Edmond Levy -  the territory is indeed under an oppressive occupation".


Adam Keller, Gush Shalom +972-(0)54-2340749
The organizers of the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign:  
Nicholas (contact in Europe) +33 6 73 38 24 84
Olivia (contact in the delegation at the bridge) +33 6 80 88 71 54
Video press conference held by the organizers prior to their departure from Paris - can be used with acknowlegement : #. UDO8FphiaQs

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