Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jordan- 'Welcome to Palestine' activists plan new attempt to enter West Bank

 MENAFN
(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Activists from the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign said on Tuesday they would make another attempt to enter the West Bank this year after Israel's third ban on Sunday.

"We are not going to wait for another year or two. We will try again sometime this year. We will come back more frequently to say lift the Gaza siege, lift the siege on Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem," Oilivia Zemor, a campaign organiser, told journalists at a press conference.

Campaign organisers said their fourth attempt would be to enter Gaza through the Rafah border crossing from Egypt.

The activists, who were carrying school supplies for Palestinian children in Bethlehem, tried to cross via Jordan after Israeli authorities at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport prevented them from entering in July 2011 and April 2012.

But Israeli border authorities denied them entry to the West Bank on Sunday.

Campaigners plan to demonstrate outside the Israeli embassy in Amman on Thursday to protest against Israel's ban.

"We will be protesting Israel's decision. We will be outside the Israeli embassy to say that Israel is not only an occupier but also a terrorist state," said Zemor.

The activists are also planning another protest outside the French embassy, because it has not "denounced" Israel's decision.

"We will also be protesting outside the French embassy. We are of various nationalities here, but the majority of us are French. France has not said anything against Israel's decision to turn us back. They bear responsibility too," Zemor added.

The campaigners said Israel's ban was an attempt to hide its "reality" from the world.

"They do not want us to go inside Palestine, because they want to continue with their ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians without any witness from outside," said Zemor.

Zemor called on Western governments to stop their support to Israel.

"Supporting the Palestinian people is not limited to sending aid and donations."

"Governments - especially US and European governments - have to say no to trading with Israel and supporting it," the activist stressed.

"Boycotting campaigns worked during the South African anti-apartheid movements. They must stop cooperating with Israel until it ends its apartheid against the Palestinian people."

The activists, who are currently staying with host families in the Baqa Refugee Camp, will distribute the school supplies to Palestinian children in the Gaza Refugee Camp in Jerash.

"We were surprised to learn about the situation of Palestinian refugees in the region. It is shocking how people are living under such conditions and that some of them do not hold any nationalities," Zemor said.

"Palestinians are not only inside Palestine. There are millions who live in Jordan and Lebanon, and we should pay more attention to them," she added.