EasyJet flight arrives in Israel
Foreign activist being detained at airport
Polce wait for passengers
Photo: Israel Police
Israeli passengers who shared flights with pro-Palestinian "flytilla" activists recalled their encounter in European airports and the experience during the flight back home.
"We looked for the activists on the plane," Sarah Izhar, who arrived onboard an EasyJet flight from Geneva, told Ynet. The flight was scheduled to leave at 7am, but was delayed because some 50 activists weren't allowed to board the aircraft.
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"There was a lot of congestion in the airport. They checked our bags carefully and blocked off all the security stations," she said, adding that she and her husband 'waited over an hour-and-a-half for the plane to take off.
"From the very beginning it was clear who the suspects were. We saw two blondes who didn’t look Israeli and were clearly activists," Izhar noted.
"They were frightened, kept looking at each other and wrote text messages. There was another man donning a long robe and looked unusual."
Izhar said the flight itself went by without incident, and upon arrival the three were arrested "in a quiet, gentle" manner.
"The girls we suspected were arrested after leaving the plane. The man with the robe took it off before landing, but was also arrested. Then they took us to the passport control, where they arrested another man who was on the bus with the Israelis," she said.
David, who arrived from Luton in Britain said pro-Palestinian activists asked him about the conditions in Israeli jails. David, who often visits Israel, said at least 15 activists were onboard the flight and were easily recognizable.
"When they boarded the flight, they said they came alone, but immediately sat next to each other. You could see they were stressed out. They tried to disperse during the flight, but still talked with one another openly about their plans."
One of the female activists sat next to David and shared her plans with him. "She was very adamant and not very polite. She was clearly not British. She spoke about the condition in the territories and said anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli things. You could tell she had an agenda," he said.
A total of 310 passengers were questioned upon arrival to Israel. A total of 85 passengers were denied entry – four of which were already deported and the rest were transferred to holding facilities. They are all scheduled to be deported in the upcoming days.
Thirty four out of the 85 activists who were denied entry were transferred to Ramla's Givon Prison, including 20 women and 14 men from France, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Holland.
Ronen Medzini, Yoav Zitun, Raanan Ben-Zur, Omri Efraim, Tomer Velmerand Boaz Fyler contributed to this report
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