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‘Flytilla’ Volunteers Arrive Back in the UK

ISM London | 13.07.2011 23:28 | Flotilla to Gaza | Anti-militarism | Palestine | World

On tuesday night, activists from a variety of groups including ISM London formed a welcome back committee at Luton Airport.

The activists were there to greet several ‘Flytilla’ volunteers deported by Israel from Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv. The volunteers had made an attempt to travel to Bethlehem in the Occupied West Bank for the “Welcome to Palestine” initiative. Up to 600 volunteers had made plans to fly into Ben Gurion from Friday onwards to form a solidarity delegation that would visit Palestinians in various towns and villages in the West Bank, illegally occupied by Israel since 1967.

Welcoming Committee
Welcoming Committee

Israel pressured airlines into stopping volunteers in their departure country before take off, but about a hundred managed to fly. Once they landed, the volunteers were arrested, eventually processed and then imprisoned at Givon Prison in Ramleh, close to Tel Aviv, or in Beersheba prison in the Negev desert.

Most of the volunteers were deported in small groups over the last few days, and report mistreatment during arrest and detention. The Luton group was no exception, and told of how guards withheld adequate medical provision for one lady suffering from diarrhea.

The ‘Flytilla’ volunteers are predominantly French, but Tuesday’s arrivals represented the majority of the British contingent, with six British nationals and two American nationals in transit on the flight. Two other Brits were deported on Monday and two more remain in Israeli prisons.

See the video at for a full interview with some of the returning volunteers

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