French authorities on Thursday expressed concern about the potential for trouble at Tel Aviv airport Friday as pro-Palestinian activists arrive from France to take part in a demonstration of support for the State of Palestine.
The support operation is being organized by NGO “EuroPalestine” and scores of people are expected to converge on Tel Aviv airport and head to the Palestinian Territories.
“The Israeli authorities, the only ones competent in matters of entry or exit on their territory, have indicated they will not let anyone past that they consider a threat to public order,” the French Foreign Ministry pointed out.
“France is concerned about the risks of incidents and disturbances that might take place in Tel Aviv airport –,” a statement said.
“EuroPalestine” staff have been in contact with the Foreign Ministry here and have been warned of the risks of entering Israel within the context of the “Welcome to Palestine” operation, official sources reported.
France said it was ready and “mobilised” to provide Consular protection to its nationals if they are arrested in Israel but the Foreign Ministry said it had not been supplied the names of those intending to travel to Tel Aviv on Friday.
The Foreign Ministry also said that “it was attached to freedom of movement towards and within the West Bank as in the other Palestinian Territories, which must notably be accessible to foreign visitors”.
Israel regularly blocks and expels known pro-Palestinian activists upon arrival in Tel Aviv and has held many well-known figures for lengthy periods, including Nobel Peace Prize winners.
Israel also regularly prevents travel to Gaza, even by diplomats and visiting officials under pretext there is a security risk.