JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel dispatched a
beefed-up security force to its main international airport Thursday and
asked foreign airlines to prevent blacklisted travelers from boarding
Tel Aviv-bound flights, ahead of the anticipated arrival of hundreds of
activists, who say their mission is peaceful, have placed Israel in an
awkward position: authorities seem torn between their determination to
keep out people they consider hostile agitators and a sense that they
may be taking the bait en route to another public relations debacle.
By Thursday evening, eight people had been blocked from boarding one flight in Paris.
activists had arrived in Israel by 1 a.m. Friday and no disturbances
were reported at the airport. Israeli officials said they expected most
of the arrivals to begin midday Friday, and scaled back the security
presence at the airport overnight.
has experienced a series of deadly run-ins with pro-Palestinian
activists over the past year, both on the high seas and along the
frontiers with Lebanon and Syria. These clashes have drawn international criticism, and Israel appeared wary of being drawn into …