Grounded: EasyJet refuses Palestinian campaigners

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Campaigners intended to help build a school in the Palestinian territories.
Campaigners intended to help build a school in the Palestinian territories.

EasyJet is refusing to fly Palestinian campaigners to Tel Aviv, after Israeli authorities sent a list of named suspected activists to airlines.

Around a dozen members of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign travelled to Manchester to board flights to Tel Aviv today, as part of a 1,500-strong international effort to highlight Israeli controls over Palestinian infrastructure.

Palestinians do not have their own airports, so all visitors to the area must pass through Israel.

"EasyJet, along with all other airlines which operate flights to Israel, has been advised by the Israeli Border Authority that a number of passengers due to travel over the weekend will not be allowed to enter Israel," a spokesperson for the airline said.


"EasyJet is compliant with all legislation where it operates and, as part of our legal obligation, must refuse carriage of any passenger at the request of the relevant authorities.

"Where possible, we will be proactively contacting any affected passengers to inform them in advance of their flight that we are not able to carry them to Israel at this particular time. It is the Israeli authorities' decision to refuse these passengers."

The Scottish contingent is intending to help Palestinian communities build schools.

Mick Napier, chairman of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, who was one of the campaigners denied boarding, said he would still go to the airport.

"This is outrageous, but people are really upbeat," he said.

"Nothing that's happened has been a surprise. We anticipated this, and we still hope to get to Israel as planned."

 

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