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Friday, July 8, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israel braces for 'mass propaganda display'
by pro-Hamas activists

TEL AVIV — The Israeli intelligence community has been preparing for an imminent influx of hundreds of pro-Hamas activists in the Jewish state.


The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, regarded as the open-source arm of the intelligence community, has warned of the prospect of hundreds of pro-Hamas activists flying into Israel beginning on July 8. The center said the so-called "Fly-In Action" was being organized by the U.S.-based International Solidarity Movement, which failed in its attempt to send a flotilla of ships to the Gaza Strip in June, Middle East Newsline reported.

"The organizers intend to use passive resistance if an attempt is made to put them on planes to return them to their countries of origin, but past experience has shown that passive resistance can deteriorate into violence," the Israeli center said on July 4.

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The center said the pro-Hamas activists were directed to arrive at Israel's Ben-Gurion Airport and conduct what was termed a "mass propaganda display" for the Palestinian demand to return to the homes of their ancestors. The activists were also planning to reach the West Bank and Jerusalem for additional anti-Israeli protests until July 16.

"Behind the propaganda and related events are dozens of networks and groups in Judea and Samaria and abroad," the center said. "Most of them are Palestinian organizations from the Palestinian territories which have been joined by anti-Israeli American networks such as the International Solidarity Movement and Al Awda."

The report said the fly-in could challenge Israeli authorities by creating a "media circus." A major difficulty could be the refusal of the pro-Hamas activists to reboard departure flights from Israel.

"In our assessment they are preparing themselves for the possibility and have planned measures to make difficulties for Israel, for instance by refusing to board return flights, receiving legal advice — including from Israeli lawyers — and accompanying the events with a media campaign," the center said. "We do not have concrete information about the practical status of the plan. As in the past, discrepancies may appear between the plans and the possibility of executing them."

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