The first wave of Palestinian protesters who hoped to fly into Ben Gurion International Airport were mostly prevented from boarding planes in European airports.
Hundreds of protesters were due to fly in this weekend for solidarity meetings with Palestinians in the West Bank. The event, dubbed “flytilla,” was to be an adjunct to a planned protest flotilla aimed at breaching Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.
Airport authorities in Paris, Berlin, Geneva and other airports armed with lists of potential protesters culled by Israeli police from social media on Friday kept as many as 200 protesters from boarding, and Israel deported nine protesters who managed to reach Israel.
Greek authorities have kept most of the planned flotilla from departing.
More protesters are due to attempt to fly in through the weekend.
The protests were planned to mark the May 31 2010 aid flotilla to Gaza. Israeli commandoes raided that flotilla, killing nine protesters in an ensuing melee.