Netanyahu: Israel Must Be Resolute in Face of pro-Palestinian Provocateurs at Airport

Prime minister orders security forces to prevent infiltration into Israel's borders, as hundreds of activists plan to enter Israel by air as counterpart to Gaza flotilla.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israeli security forces must act firmly against an expected pro-Palestinian protest at the Ben-Gurion International Airport over the weekend.

"Every country has the right to prevent the entry of provocateurs into its borders," Netanyahu said during a meeting with several heads of Israeli security services at the Ben-Gurion airport, in preparation for the arrival of hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who plan on entering Israel by air as a counterpart to the planned flotilla to the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu at Ben-Gurion airport - Moshe Milner / GPO - July 2011
Moshe Milner / GPO

Netanyahu stressed that Israel will act as every civilized country would in the face of provocateurs, but ordered security forces to "avoid unnecessary altercations."

Following the discussion, Netanyahu ordered Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to exert all efforts to prevent an infiltration into Israel's borders.

Haaretz reported Tuesday that Israel has provided intelligence to the United States seven European countries, and several foreign airline companies regarding the activists who plan on participating in the airport protest.

Between 600 and 1,200 activists are expected to arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday. Israel is expecting the main protest to take place Friday morning, and the first activists are likely to arrive Thursday night.