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“More than 66 flights originated from different European cities to go to Al-Lod (Ben Gurion) airport to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian people, and to say no to the Zionist occupation,” he told a crowd gathered at a mosque in Gaza City on Friday, AP reported.
Israeli police detained 69 activists upon their arrival at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport on Friday. A total of 25 other activists were also denied entry into Israel.
Four of the 69 activists have been deported to their home countries and the rest have been sent to detention facilities, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
The activists were part of the pro-Palestinian Welcome to Palestine campaign, which has been organizing the flytilla to Israel.
The effort is meant to be a complement to the Gaza Freedom Flotilla II, a convoy of ships organized by activists to deliver humanitarian supplies to the 1.5 million residents of the Gaza Strip.
The 10-ship humanitarian flotilla was scheduled to leave Greek ports for the coastal enclave in early July, with the goal of breaking Israel’s blockade of the impoverished territory.
However, the flotilla was prohibited from leaving the ports after the Greek government made a sudden decision to impose a blanket ban on the departure of any vessels destined for Gaza.