Israel to Deport pro-Palestinian 'Fly-in' Activists Within 48 Hours

120 foreign activists currently being held at detention facilities; four activists released and permitted to enter Israel after pledging to refrain from participating in violent protests.

Immigration and Population Authority officials told Haaretz on Saturday evening that all foreign pro-Palestinian 'fly-in' activists who were refused entry into Israel over the past few days would be deported back to their home countries within 48 hours.

At this point, there are 120 detained activists. Eighty-five are being detained at the Givon facilty in Ramle and the rest are being held at the Ela detention facility.

Ben-Gurion Airport demonstration July 8, 2011 (Reuters)

Four activists from Germany and Holland were released and permitted to enter Israel after they pledged not to participate in violent protest activities.

According to police, anyone "who wanted to protest in a legitimate and non-violent manner was permitted to enter" Israel.

The 120 detained activists are less than half of the more than 300 who were originally questioned by police. Police said that the detained activists were those who refused to promise not to participate in violent protests.

Some activists refused to talk to investigators and only presented their passports.

Leftist organizations said that a number of 'fly-in' activists succeeded in entering Israel and participated on Saturday in small demonstrations at the Qalandiya checkpoint and in East Jerusalem.

At this stage, it is not clear that the Immigration and Population Authority will be able to fulfill its intention to deport the activists within 48 hours as foreign airlines that operate in Israel have said that they would have a hard time flying large groups of activists home.

A senior official for one of the large European carriers told Haaretz on Saturday that "the airlines will have a hard time dealing all at once with large groups of pro-Palestinian activists that Israel wants to deport."