Pro-Palestinians turned back at Paris airport

Eight pro-Palestinian activists were turned back on Thursday after a request from Israel as they tried to take a flight from Paris to Tel Aviv, sources said.

The eight had been due to board a Hungarian airline Malev flight via Budapest as part of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign which hopes to enable hundreds of activists to spend a week visiting Palestinian families.

“Their reservation was cancelled at the request of Israeli authorities who have drawn up a list of undesirable persons,” the airport source said, adding that the eight were turned away when they tried to check in for their flight.

Israel was battening down the hatches at Tel Aviv airport on Thursday, awaiting hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters as Greece blocked the last boat in a scuppered campaign to ship aid to the Gaza Strip.

Organisers of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign, which some describe as a “flytilla” in reference to a parallel maritime protest flotilla, say the 600 or so activists — more than half of them French — were to spend a week visiting Palestinian families and have “totally peaceful intentions”.

France on Thursday warned its citizens of possible trouble at Tel Aviv airport if they take part in the so-called “flytilla.”


French sailor found after weeks adrift: Israeli army

A French sailor lost in the Mediterranean for weeks has been rescued by the Israeli military off the Gaza coast, the army said Friday.

French sailor found after weeks adrift: Israeli army
A file photo taken from the coast of Gaza. Photo: AFP

The man was recovered Thursday night drifting in a boat with a broken radio and no steering system near the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave bordering Israel and Egypt, the army said on Twitter.

“Our soldiers came across his boat near the Gaza Strip, rescued him, and took him for medical treatment,” the tweet said.

An army spokeswoman described the man as a fisherman travelling from Egypt towards Gaza. She said he was injured in the leg.

The tweet included a photo of a smiling man with greying hair wearing a sea jacket and hat and surrounded by soldiers aboard what appears to be an Israeli boat.

There were no further details on the circumstances of the rescue or the man's identity.

The French embassy in Tel Aviv said it had received information about the incident from the Israeli army, but did not have more any more details.

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