Israel Awaits 'Second Wave' of Activists

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli security forces remained on high alert at Ben Gurion International Airport Friday in response to the announced pro-Palestinian activists fly-in.

Israeli Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said despite having prevented hundreds of activists from arriving, more may be on the way.

Between 500 and 700 activists planned to invade Israel this weekend to take part in a week of pro-Palestinian demonstrations primarily in the West Bank -- biblical Judea and Samaria.

By Friday morning, 200 activists had been turned away from their flights, Israel Radio reported.

Earlier in the week, Israel's Interior Ministry issued a list to international air carriers of 342 activists who would not be permitted to enter the country. Ministry officials said the list would be updated continually.

On Thursday night, two Americans who had planned to participate in the Gaza flotilla decided to join the second group arriving this weekend. They were denied entry at the airport and sent back to Athens, Greece.

At France's Charles de Gaulle Airport, activists refused to leave the Lufthansa terminal when they were not permitted to board a flight to Israel.

"Charles de Gaulle Airport is under Israeli occupation," said Olivia Zemour, head of EuroPalestine, which organized the fly-in, Israel Radio reported.

At least some of the activists planning to invade Israel by air were as unsuccessful as their blockade-busting counterparts.

Last Friday, the Greek government announced that no ship planning to sail to the Gaza Strip with "Freedom Flotilla 2" would be allowed to embark.

On Monday, the Greek Coast Guard intercepted the Canadian ship, Tahrir, and forced it to return to port.

The coast guard also turned back the "The Audacity of Hope," a U.S. entry in the flotilla, and arrested its captain.

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