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At the Jordan Bridges border crossings, Israeli authorities prevented the entry of more than a hundred international activists.

At the Jordan Bridges border crossings, Israeli authorities prevented the entry of more than a hundred international activists Gush Shalom: "The country's border crossings are wide open to the international friends of the violent settlers"

About 7.30 pm, more than a hundred activists from all over the world arrived from Jordan to the Israeli border crossings at the Allenby/King Hussein Bridge, telling that they on their way to Bethlehem at the invitation of its Palestinian governor and of civil society organizations there, and that they were carrying with them notebooks and school equipment for Palestinian pupils about to begin their school year. However, their entry into the West Bank was denied. In the Israeli-controlled area of the Allenby Bridge was seen a major alert of military forces, and journalists there were told that the area had been declared "a closed military zone".

"They did not even let us get off the bus," said Olivia Zemor of Paris, one of the organizers of the visit. "They collected our passports and a few minutes later returned them with each and every passport stamped 'Entry denied'. The soldiers refused to give any explanation, they just said - that's it, your entry is denied, go back to Jordan." Zemour noted that last year, when she and her fellows tried to reach the Palestinian Territories through Ben Gurion Airport, they were told, "Why don't you come through the Jordan bridges?". "So we did try to get through the Jordan bridges, and now we got a definite answer from the government of Israel."

"Violent settlers, those who under the name of 'price tag' set olive trees and mosques on fire, are all the time getting reinforcements from abroad. For the settlers' friends, Jews and Christians, Israel's border crossings are wide open. From the airport they go to the settlements" says Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson. "When the Palestinians living under Israel's rule try to invite guests to come and visit them, the government of Israel instructs the army and police to block their way. The government has the power and the ability to act in such a belligerent and arbitrary way. But by so doing, the government ends up emphasizing and demonstrating to the entire world that – despite the so- called 'judicial report' which the government commissioned from Judge Edmond Levy - the territory is indeed under an oppressive occupation".

Contact: Adam Keller, Gush Shalom +972-(0)54-2340749 The organizers of the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign: Nicholas (contact in Europe) +33 6 73 38 24 84 Olivia (contact in the delegation at the bridge) +33 6 80 88 71 54

Video press conference held by the organizers prior to their departure from Paris - can be used with acknowlegement : #. UDO8FphiaQs