Date: 27 August 2012
Time: 11:30 GMT
PCHR Strongly Condemns the Denial of Entry to the oPt of dozens of International Solidarity Activists by Israel
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns the denial of entry into the West Bank of dozens of international solidarity activists participating in the “Welcome to Palestine Campaign”. The activists, who sought entry to the West Bank via the Allenby Bridge from Jordan on Sunday evening, were sent back by the Israeli authorities.
PCHR calls upon the international community to exert pressure on the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) and compel them to allow these activists to have access to the Occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt).
Activists have the right to express their solidarity with the Palestinian just cause. Their rights should not be violated by Israel or other countries, which granted security facilities to Israel and took measures against them in their airports and through their airlines to prevent activists from access to the oPt.
The IOF has a long standing policy of preventing international human rights activists wishing to observe human rights violations committed by IOF in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from entering the oPt. Additionally, several international solidarity groups were denied entry when arriving at the Israeli airport Ben Gurion, including two “Flytillas” that were organized by the Welcome to Palestine Campaign. The participants’ stated intention to visit Palestine on arrival at the airport resulted in their detention and subsequent deportation and blacklisting. The activists are denied freedom of movement and access to the oPt in order to prevent them from baring witness of life under the Israeli occupation.
PCHR reiterates its condemnation of Israel ’s actions against solidarity activists and:
1. Stresses its support for continuing efforts exerted by international solidarity activists in support of the Palestinian people. PCHR appreciates the important role played by these activists who advocate for the rights of Palestinian civilians and speak out against the human rights violations committed against the latter by the Israeli authorities and settlers.
2. PCHR calls upon international organizations, including human rights organizations, bar associations and international solidarity committees to continue and expand their efforts in bring to justice Israeli war criminals, and to urge their governments to bring those criminals to court.