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Press Release from #Welcome2Palestine Campaign

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Can you imagine Israelis banned from European countries because they criticize European policies? At the invitation of Palestinians International visitors  will again challenge the siege of the occupied Palestinian territories this Sunday.  Israel illegally prevents millions of Palestinians from returning to their country. But it also prevents normal visitation to those Palestinians remaining here.  Recently four foreign ministers expected to attend a diplomatic conference in Ramallah were barred from entering through Jordan as they do with many visitors to the occupied Palestinian territories. Many Palestinians are also prevented from traveling abroad. For example, the chairman of the prisoner support organization Addameer, Abdullatif Gaith, a 71-year-old resident of East Jerusalem was ordered by Israeli "intelligence" to stay at home until 31 January 2013! Israel prevents Internationals from visiting their Palestinian friends.

Our previous two "Welcome to Palestine" campaigns were faced with illegal repression although their only supposed crime was admitting that they were visiting Palestine. Israel even went to the extreme of providing a fabricated list of 1,200 individuals to European airlines to deny them boarding, not one of those people was a security threat.  Israel made Ben Gurion Airport into a virtual military camp with hundreds of extra security personnel to restrict entry to those they claimed were intent on disruption and trouble-making.  The truth remains that Israel is violating international law by isolating the occupied Palestinian territories. European and American leaders are also responsible for these violations because they directly support Israel in its violations of human rights both diplomatically and financially. When governments fail to act, people act. Hence we will keep trying to visit Palestinian families and their associations. Even prisoners should have the right to  receive visitors, shouldn't they?  This is why the next "Welcome to Palestine" mission, invited by the Governor of Bethlehem and several civil society organizations will take place from the 24th -31st of August. One hundred participants will be coming from several European countries as well as the United States, equipped with school stationery to give to Palestinian children and their eyes and their cameras to document life under colonial occupation and apartheid.

The delegates arrive in Jordan on the 23rd of August and will tour Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan for two days before crossing over  Al-Awda Bridge (also called King Hussain Bridge) to the occupied West Bank. While in the West Bank, they will experience Palestinian life in different settings. This will consist of life in small villages, towns, and cities around the occupied Palestinian territories. While touring, they will receive presentations given by Palestinians depicting the struggles that they face. All are welcome to the opening ceremony of their visit which will take place in Jericho this Sunday at 8 pm.

International Media Contact: Paris, Nicolas 00 33 6 73 38 24 84 or 00 33 6 80 88 71 54 (English and French)
Local Media Contact: Bethlehem, George (970) 599833888  of from local number 0599833888  (Arabic and English)
Welcome to Palestine
http://www.bienvenuepalestine.com
http://www.palestinejn.org
email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

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CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

Welcome to Palestine Campaign April 15th-21st 2012

 

Palestinian civil society organizations and peace and human rights defenders and activists call on the international community to join us on April 15th -21st for peace building in Palestine and to challenge the Israeli siege of the occupied territories. Over 1500 people of conscience from over 15 countries are scheduled to arrive for this year’s WTP campaign.

 

The first Welcome to Palestine (WTP) Campaign in December 2010 brought 100 individuals. The second WTP in July 2011 saw hundreds of individuals purchase airline tickets and attempt to board planes to Palestine.  Israel sent a "black list" of 342 participants from the ages of 9 to 83 years old to prevent them from boarding planes sparking huge protests in several international airports. The Israeli military also turned the airport near Tel Aviv into a military compound.  One hundred twenty-seven women and men were arrested at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and then imprisoned for several as they insisted on their right to visit Palestinian associations and families.

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Welcome to Palestine 2012

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"We, the undersigned, endorse the call from the Welcome to Palestine 2012 initiative for supporters of Palestinian human and national rights around the world to openly visit Palestine during Easter 2012.

There is no way into Palestine other than through Israeli control points. Israel has turned Palestine into a giant prison, but prisoners have a right to receive visitors.
Welcome to Palestine 2012 will again challenge Israel's policy of isolating the West Bank while the settler paramilitaries and army commit brutal crimes against a virtually defenceless Palestinian civilian population.

We call on governments to support the right of Palestinians to receive visitors and the right of their own citizens to visit Palestine openly.
The participants in Welcome to Palestine 2012 ask to be allowed to pass through Tel Aviv airport without hindrance and to proceed to the West Bank to take part in a project there for children to benefit from the right to education."

to view FAQ about the program, please click here.

for more information, you can go to www.BienvenuePalestine.com, or contact the following emails directly.

France : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (French and English speaking)
UK :   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (English speaking)
Belgium : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (French and English speaking)

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