flytilla - AFP - July 8 2011
Police mingling with passengers at Ben-Gurion Airport yesterday. Photo by AFP
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Two American citizens planning to take part in the pro-Palestinian “fly-in,” were refused entrance to Israel on Friday morning after landing at Ben-Gurion International Airport, and were sent on an outbound flight back to Greece.

The women, wearing “fly-in” T-shirts, flew in from Athens and were stopped by border control by Israel Police, who decided to decrease security presence at the airport on Thursday evening, saying it no longer expects mass fly-in activists, because most of them had been already stopped abroad.

The women were questioned and after stating their intentions, Israel Police sent them on an outbound flight due to their intention to create provocations and disrupt the peace.

More activists are expected to arrive in Israel on Friday afternoon, but police believe that most of them had already been prevented from departing in airports abroad, after the Transportation Ministry had handed foreign airlines a list of 300 people who have been blacklisted by Israel.

The German airline Lufthansa barred 50 pro-Palestinian activists from boarding an Israel-bound flight from Paris via Frankfurt because they appeared on Israel's list of blacklisted passengers.

A spokesperson for the German airline in Israel, Tal Muskal told Haaretz that the group demonstrated in the check-in area in terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. He said that the airline had not been informed that the protesters were demanding to receive a written statement about Lufthansa's refusal to let them board before they would leave the airport.

Muskal said that just like other European airlines, Lufthansa received a list of passengers who would not be allowed entry at Ben-Gurion Airport.

Another group of close to 30 activists whose names were on Israel's blacklist, most of them French, was not allowed to board another flight with easyJet Airline from Switzerland to Israel.

An activist at Charles de Gaulle airport said his group had attempted to leave for Tel Aviv early on Thursday but were denied seats aboard their flight, operated by Hungarian airline Malev, at the request of Israeli authorities.

France's foreign ministry expressed concern about the risk of clashes between activists and Israeli security forces if the former reached their destination.

The Transportation Ministry requested earlier Thursday that foreign airlines report to Israeli authorities if any of the blacklisted passengers appear on their flights to Israel in the next 24 hours, stressing that these people will not be granted entry into Israel.

In effect, Israel's instructions mean that the foreign airlines will not allow those passengers to board their flights in airports abroad, so they would not need to fly them back to their countries of origin after being deported by Israel.