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Israeli Forces Ready To Thwart Fly-in Protest

Hundreds of police and special forces will converge on Ben-Gurion Airport to block the entry of pro-Palestinian activists on Sunday, but human rights activists say the airport has no authority to deny entry to anyone intending to visit the Palestinian territories.

Hundreds of police officers, most of them in plainclothes and unarmed, will await the so-called fly-in at Ben-Gurion on Sunday, while special forces will deploy outside the terminal.

The foreign, transportation, interior and public security ministries are working together to thwart the protest with as little commotion as possible, in a bid to prevent the activists from achieving a public relations victory, officials said.

The Interior Ministry has given airlines the names of activists who are denied entry to Israel and told them that if any activists arrive, the airlines will have to fly them back at the companies’ expense.

Last summer Israel thwarted a similar fly-in, when around 200 activists were not allowed to board flights at their country of origin. Others were detained at Ben-Gurion Airport.

Undercover police agents will staff passport control counters, seen as the first possible friction point between the activists and the authorities, police sources said.

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