Pro-Palestinian activists barred from boarding flights in Paris
Dozens of pro-Palestinian activists staged a protest at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris Friday morning after being barred from boarding their flights to Tel Aviv after Israel put them on a blacklist, DPA reported.
The activists, many of them French but also including at least one German, discovered the news when they arrived for their flights, they reported in videos posted online and on social networking site Twitter.
German carrier Lufthansa and other airlines, including Alitalia and Hungarian airline Malev informed them they were not allowed check in because their names were on a list of "undesirable people" that had been circulated to the airlines by the Israeli government.
Some passengers booked on Alitalia flights managed to check in but were refused permission to board.
"Roissy (airport) under a blockade, Lufthansa collaborators," some of the passengers in the airport's Terminal 1 shouted.
"Roissy-Charles de Gaulle is under Israeli occupation," the coordinator of the France chapter of the campaign, Olivia Zemor, accused.
"This is an infringement of our freedom to travel," one frustrated French passenger said in a video posted on YouTube.
The activists are part of the Welcome to Palestine campaign, which had organized a "flytilla" to the Middle East this weekend for solidarity visits in the Palestinian territories.
They were due to arrive through Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, where hundreds of police had been deployed Thursday in a show of force aimed at thwarting any protests.
Israeli police had warned the activists would be sent home and that they had already identified over 300 ahead of arrival.