Nine Americans, and a French national have been detained at Ben Gurion airport. The activists who arrived here early this morning are currently still being detained in the airport — and have been informed they will be deported at 1am tomorrow morning.
This is not the first time foreign nationals have been denied entrance to Israel, and therefore Palestine. Over 150 people have to date been refused entrance and deported, but this is the largest group of Americans that has been denied entry. One of the activists is Gary Krane — a Jewish American who felt it was the time to come to area to see for himself what was taking place.
This is a very dangerous attempt by the Israeli authority to completely isolate Palestinians. We can only speculate at the reasons for such action but most obvious assumption is that the Israeli authorities want to prevent witnesses who would be a neutral voice in speaking out about what is currently taking place in the West Bank.
In another case the Catholic Relief Services said today that one of their international staff members was detained at the airport yesterday afternoon. The Israeli officials at the airport claimed that the entry requirements for foreign international aid agency workers has changed, and now entry of foreign aid workers requires coordination with the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of the Interior; no aid agencies were informed of the new rules prior to their implementation.
In the past week two other international development agencies had foreign nationals refused entry to Israel and deported, Care International and Save the Children US.