Fly-in activists help tear down fence

Several newly arrived foreign activists joined Palestinians in tearing down part of an Israeli fence in the West Bank on July 11, local activists said.

Some of the foreigners who took part in the protest were among those who had flown into Israel over the weekend, the local activists said. Organizers of the fly-in said they were hoping to bring some 600 activists to the West Bank.

The July 11 incident took place near the Palestinian village of Izbet Attabeb. Some 10 of foreign activists and 50 Palestinians reportedly tore down parts of a fence. The Israeli military said there was minor damage and the protesters dispersed without military intervention.

The fly-in to Israel was organized as plans fell through to send a flotilla of ships to challenge Israel’s sea blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Israel issued a blacklist to airlines to stop most of the foreigners from boarding planes last weekend; as many as 200 were stopped from boarding planes by airport authorities in Paris, Berlin, Geneva and other cities. Israel arrested 130 others on arrival, but many were permitted to enter, and a few went to the West Bank to demonstrate. — ap