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Lufthansa bars passengers en route to Palestine
Published Friday 13/04/2012 (updated) 15/04/2012 10:37
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Germany's national airline is canceling tickets of passengers who intend to visit the occupied West Bank, a group organizing a visit by foreigners said Friday.

Lufthansa canceled the tickets of dozens of people who are signed up to join the Welcome to Palestine week which begins Sunday, the group said in a statement.

"Passengers on Lufthansa flights have not committed any offense, and do not accept these mafia-methods, favored by governments complicit in the imprisonment of the Palestinian people," the group said.

"Therefore, with the support of many friends, they will appear as scheduled at their airports boarding this weekend, a reminder that the West Bank, nor the rest of Palestine, does not belong to Israel," they said.

"Lufthansa, like all airlines, is obliged by the principle of following the laws and guidelines on entry to the territory of countries to which it transports its passengers," a spokesman for the company told AFP.

"The Israeli authorities have written to several airlines including Lufthansa, and asked them not to fly certain passengers to Israel. Therefore, Lufthansa is obliged to follow this directive," he said.

The mayor of Bethlehem on Tuesday urged Israel not to humiliate hundreds of tourists invited to the week-long tour.

Some 25 organizations have invited internationals to visit Palestine from April 15-21 and Mayor Victor Batarseh urged Israel to let them enter and not to humiliate them.

"We demand our international friends have access to Bethlehem," the mayor said.

"It is our right to welcome visitors."

Israel's public security minister, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, said Tuesday that guests of the Welcome to Palestine initiative would be detained and deported, the Israeli news site Ynet reported.

"If they arrive in Israel they will be identified, removed from the plane, their entry into Israel will be prevented and they will be moved to a detention facility until they are flown out of Israel," Aharonovitch said.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Ma'an on Wednesday that police were preparing for the visitors' arrival and implementing measures inside and outside the airport. He did not elaborate.

Palestinian organizations have arranged a week-long program, starting Sunday, which includes helping to build a school in Bethlehem and day trips to Hebron, the Jordan Valley, Ramallah and Jerusalem.

All visitors to the West Bank must first pass Israeli border control and many arriving in Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport do not tell Israeli security if they will be visiting Palestinian areas as this leads to interrogation and often deportation.

But the campaign has asked its guests to be open about their plans to visit the West Bank.
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1 ) Robby / USA
14/04/2012 00:42
"Therefore, with the support of many friends, they will appear as scheduled at their airports boarding this weekend, a reminder that the West Bank, nor the rest of Palestine, does not belong to Israel" - Tel Aviv does belong to Israel, that is where the planes land.

2 ) southparkbear / usa
14/04/2012 02:20
hey mayor relax none of your friend be humiliated only you

3 ) IVAN / RUSSIA
14/04/2012 02:44
BOYCOTT THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. LUFTHANSA SUPPORT THIS APARTHEID JEWISH STATE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4 ) John / USA
14/04/2012 03:25
Since the flytilla was a big flop, how about if we repackage this demonstration and call it a "fartilla".

5 ) Gabi / Australia
14/04/2012 03:35
It is clear that Israel doesn't want anyone deemed unacceptable to Israel, for what is usually unknown and unspoken reasons, to visit the Occupied Territories because they will go home and tell people about the occupation and the damage it is doing to ordinary Palestinians, who are merely attempting to go about their lives, providing for their children, and all those things every one in Germany expects to be able to do without hindrance. Shame on you Germany for doing Israel's bidding on this.

6 ) some one / some where
14/04/2012 04:49
year after year time after time whene you are going to learn from past it is to your advantage to learn and do not do the same mistake again

7 ) Shirlee / Australia
14/04/2012 05:35
Looks like It looks like another failed Flytilla........... Provocateurs are being turned away from Lufthansa, Air France, Spanish Iberia airlines, Easy Jet and discounter Jet2.com... Most airlines appear to be cooperating with the Israeli government and upholding international law..... and so they should. This bunch of losers only want to be inflammatory.

8 ) silver / phil
14/04/2012 08:05
where is the freedom of travel. israel is a violator of human right

9 ) Nour / One-State
14/04/2012 10:49
Welcome on board Lufthansa Zionazi Airlines. Dear passengers, you may be able to view the Gaza concentration camp from the right side of the cabin as we come to land in proudly occupied Palestine. We had the pleasure of filtering you for inappropriate passenger content. Please feel free to give to Zionist charity. All proceeds will go straight to the occupation pockets. Thank you and happy occupations.

10 ) Julie / USA
14/04/2012 11:45
there goes izrahell delegitimizing themselves, AGAIN...more and more, day by day.

11 ) Shirlee / Australia
14/04/2012 13:29
IVAN / RUSSIA..Look up apartheid in the dictionary. It isn't Israel. I just recently returned from there. I sat with Arabs in McDonald's, I had an Arab taxi drivers & Arab bus drivers. I saw girls wearing hijabs at TA University. That's not apartheid.............Nour / One-State. Gaza is no concentration camp. The view I had of Gaza from Sderot, was one of beautiful skyscraper after another. Nothing like a concentration camp to me.It's not occupied either. Hamas is well and truly in control.

12 ) Jo johns / Usa
14/04/2012 17:40
Southparkbear speaks for all jews. They have no shame. It started in Christ time,Germany,Egypt and all the other places they destroyed. What happens when people revolt against the insane?

13 ) Mel / USA
14/04/2012 18:03
That's where the passengers went wrong?They FLEW to Israel,when they should've flown to Egypt &gone via Rafah,up thru' Gaza,to see the REAL devastation &"Welcome to Palestine" offered by colonial Zionism(1935),Ashkenazi Israel(1948).By flying to Israel,the passengers ENDORSE Israel's illegal occupation & Zionism,'UBER ALLES'. Bethlehem is ILLEGALLY occupied Palestinian territory.SHAME ON U Germany! 4 colluding with ethnic presecution,AGAIN!Shirley you're on a par with Ur outback SHEEP! SAD!

14 ) Wissam / Palestine
14/04/2012 18:14
#12 Only the devil could have such an arrogant, cynical attitude. That writer (who I suspect also uses a variety of other screen names) is the devil incarnate. MAAN thinks his regular diatribe is appropriate content. Only they know the consequences of sloppy enforcement of comment rules (see below). As a result this site has become a Mecca for Palestine-bashers. Their vile and hateful comments get published immediately.

15 ) USAUSA / USA
14/04/2012 18:43
This is excellent pro-Israeli propaganda. So thumbs up. On a day Syria kills by the score, to see aging left-wing juvenile delinquents demand to cause a riot in an Israeli airport, is really encouraging. Everyone here sees the complete immaturity, the fatuousness, and the complete lack of perspective. Most people in the US never read the absurd comments here but when they see this in the news, it completely reinforces their pro-Israel attitudes. I say keep it up.

16 ) johnny benson / usa
14/04/2012 19:10
....am i wrong?.....why cant these flytillas go through jordan....over the allenby bridge to the west bank......or togaza via egypt....ot through iraq over land to jordan then to the bridge.....or a cruise boat to haifa...then jump ship....come on guys ...where theres a will.....

17 ) southparkbear / usa
14/04/2012 22:49
hey wissama, i am not bashing all palestinians, only idiots or murderers

18 ) The Letter / Aretz
15/04/2012 00:30
“Dear Activists, "We appreciate your choosing to make Israel the object of your humanitarian concerns. We know there were many other worthy choices. You could have chosen to protest: - the Syrian regime’s daily savagery against its own people, which has claimed thousands of lives. - the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on dissent and its support of terrorism throughout the world. -Hamas rule in Gaza, where where terror organizations commit war crimes", and - NOT the sole democracy !!!

19 ) Shirlee / Australia
15/04/2012 01:10
USAUSA / USA I don't know about the US, but here 'down under' this kind of stupid childish stunt, doesn't even make the media, except for the loony left.

20 ) gabi / australia
15/04/2012 02:39
southparkbear # 17- when I read post #14 I read the name as Wissam. Why have you used the name wissama? To be deliberately inflammatory? Not Palestinian-bashing? Who's the real idiot?????

21 ) Shirlee / Australia
15/04/2012 05:06
Mel, before you go sprouting your hatred to all and sundry dahling... Learn what you are sprouting ....Bethlehem is in 'Zone A' which is under the full control of the Palestinian Authority.........not as you want everyone to believe ***ILLEGALLY occupied Palestinian territory.****

22 ) Wissam / Palestine
15/04/2012 09:12
List of airlines that are now boycotted by all Palestinians: Lufthansa, Easyjet, Air France, and Jet2go.com Palestinians are better advised to use real, award-winning airlines such as Lufthansa and Qatar Airways.

23 ) mr.m.j. jacobsen / oslo
15/04/2012 10:52
why cant you 'pro-israel' posters,stop hiding behind other names.worse that you take up arab names.btw spend your day doing something constructive,rather than wasting time commenting to this site. most people who may read this site don't particularly care what you say .

24 ) carine / UK
15/04/2012 15:37
#21 - "Bethlehem is in Zone A, which is under full control of the Palestinian Authority" - so can you explain why Israel is preventing people from visiting Bethlehem?

25 ) Shirlee / Australia
15/04/2012 16:28
Because these people are going to Israel just to cause trouble that's why and for no other reason. If they seriously just want to go to Bethlehem, they can go via Jordan

26 ) Robby / USA
15/04/2012 17:21
24 ) carine / UK - They preventing people from entering Israel, the airport in in Tel Aviv.

27 ) Robby / USA
15/04/2012 17:22
23 ) mr.m.j. jacobsen / oslo - who is hiding behind a fake name?

28 ) Outsider / EU
15/04/2012 17:25
Makes you really want to cough up a couple of hundred euros to visit the Holylands, doesn't it? Say the wrong word and you'll spend your time in a shed in handcuffs.

29 ) Mel / USA
15/04/2012 18:14
#21:Shirlee:Jeeez! You're such a woollybug**er! The PA is Israel's Arab PROXY! The favored "good Arabs" of Zionists,coz they accept their subjugation to Jewish rule in the Arab native homeland! The only reason they exist,is because Zionism(US/UK) funds THEM,& fills their OS bank accounts,with "treats"! SO,Israel controls the PA/PASF as its proxy. ERGO...Zone A remains as Israeli controlled occupied territory. Do U savvy,sweet sheep? LOL! Oh Lord, who said 'ignorance is bliss'??

30 ) carine / UK
15/04/2012 18:41
#25 - No, they're not GOING TO Israel to cause trouble, they want to PASS THROUGH Israel to get elsewhere. They don't exactly have much choice as to which route to take to Palestine, do they? If Israel had let them through without this idiotic fuss, they could have gained so much in PR, but now they just look more paranoid than they already are. BTW - any idea how many were prevented from going through the Allenby crossing? Just asking. #26 - See above...

31 ) @ carine #30 / USA
16/04/2012 00:50
You Are Right, the activists "don't exactly have much choice as to which route to take to Palestine", and YOU SHOULD REALIZE NEVER WILL EITHER, unless a peace/statehood agreement is reached with Israel.

32 ) Joe Fattal / USA
16/04/2012 15:00
Another way for activists is to go to Egypt and from Egypt they can go to Gaza with the right papers. To the West Bank, they can go to Jordan and from there they can cross into the West Bank with the proper papers. But landing at Ben Gurion airport is asking for trouble not necessarily to cause any trouble and especially for Palestinians or even foreigner with Palestinian descents.

33 ) Tony B? / ME
16/04/2012 16:55
At a time when the Syrian regime has slaughtered over 9000 men, women and children, these people ignore the desperate cries for help from that truly oppressed people to head out on a protest junket to the only country in the region that does not commit industrial scale atrocities against it's people. Can there be any doubt in the minds of the honest observer that their true motivation has more to do with anti-semitism than anything else? Such hypocrisy is almost beyond belief.
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