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Sunday, July 10, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israel gets European help with 'provocateurs' backing Hamas

JERUSALEM — Israel reports that several countries blocked hundreds of pro-Hamas activists from flying to the Jewish state.


Officials said at least 200 pro-Hamas activists were prevented from flying to Israel on July 7-8. They said such countries as Britain, France, Germany and Greece agreed to an Israeli request to help screen suspected activists from boarding flights to the Jewish state as part of a so-called Fly-In Action.

"Every nation has the right to stop provocateurs from stepping onto its soil," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. "And that is how we will act."

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Officials said authorities assessed that up to 800 foreigners would try to enter Israel to stage pro-Palestinian demonstrations. They said Israel gave Western airlines the names of 342 Americans and Europeans suspected of being sent by pro-Hamas organizations and warned that the carriers would be responsible for the forced return of the activists.

"The Immigration Department is doing a good job," Interior Minister Eli Yishai said. "They prevented a few illegal activists from entering. We have a list of some people who are planning to hold illegal demonstrations around the country."

Israel still expected at least another 100 pro-Hamas activists to try to board flights from Europe, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Israel has reinforced security at Ben-Gurion International Airport to rapidly quell any unrest.

"The wave is still ahead of us," Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said. "We're not taking any chances. The presence of undercover and overt forces at the airport has prevented many who sought to disturb public order from heading [to Israel]."

So far, authorities have detained 124 foreigners on suspicion of being sent by pro-Hamas groups. The Palestinian Authority news agency, Wafa, said 50 Europeans succeeded in evading Israeli immigration officers and arrived in the West Bank.

"Those who came here did not go to Ramallah or Bethlehem," Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor said. "They went to a roadblock to clash with soldiers."

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