65 pro-Palestinian 'Fly-in' Activists Transferred to Detention Facilities

Police estimate that bulk of events related to 'fly-in' have ended; four activists have already been deported.

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Israel Police estimate that the bulk of events related to the pro-Palestinian "fly-in" have ended.

Authorities are waiting for a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt with a limited number of activists on board that is scheduled to land at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Friday night.

Israeli pro-Palestinian demonstrator holds up sign at Ben-Gurion Airport, July 8, 2011.Credit: Ilan Assayag

It is not clear exactly when that Lufthansa flight will arrive as the flight's departure from Frankfurt was delayed due to runway improvement work being conducted at Ben-Gurion Airport on Friday evening from 19:00 to 22:00.

Police called Friday's operations at Ben-Gurion Airport "successful" as most of the activists were identified and taken in for questioning during the afternoon hours.

A total of 310 arriving passengers have been questioned by the Immigration and Population Authority. 69 of the passengers were found to be "fly-in" activists and were denied entry to Israel. The others were found to be regular tourists and were permitted to enter Israel.

At this time, four of the 69 activists have been deported to their home countries. The rest have been sent to detention facilities until they can be deported.

Ten of the activists arrived on an easyJet flight, while another 20 came on an Alitalia flight. The rest arrived on other flights.

Earlier in the day, six Israelis arrived at the airport with signs supporting the "fly-in". Their demonstration was quickly broken up by police.

The flights landed at Ben-Gurion International Airport on Friday afternoon. When it became clear that there were activists on board, the planes were diverted to an area away from the main terminal and the activists were taken in by police for questioning.

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