The pro-Palestinian "flytilla" may well prove to be much smaller than planned, as many activists were banned from boarding flights to Israel on Saturday. The largest group of activists was meant to arrive from France. They were instructed to arrive at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris at 5 am on Sunday.
Should they be barred from boarding the flights, the activists will express their protest in letters to the media.
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On Saturday, organizers briefed the activists on social media networks, calling them to challenge the airlines and show up at the airports with their tickets.
Activists furious with foreign airlines for cooperating with Israel
The message stated that the blockade was a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and that Israel had turned Palestine into a huge prison. It was also noted that Israeli immigration inspectors from the Oz Unit have decided to stop their strike in wake of the fly-in.
The activists were given specific instructions on how to act in case Israeli authorities refuse to allow them in. They were instructed to leave a copy of their passport with relatives and take the numbers of government officials from their countries of origin. They were also briefed on Israeli airport rules and guidelines.
Organizers asked the activists to "stay calm but determined" in case they are denied entry and that there is a possibility they will eventually be allowed in. The activists were also instructed not to start riots or insult airport officials. They plan to appeal any decision barring them from Israel with the involvement of a lawyer.
They were also told to contact the organizers in order to report to the media the developments at the airport. Organizers stressed the importance of the media in pressuring the Israeli authorities into changing their decision.
Once in Israel, they will receive a letter from the Israeli government which reads: "You could have chosen to protest Syrian regime's daily savagery, but instead you chose to protest against Israel, the Middle East's sole democracy."
Gilad Morag contributed to this report
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