German airline Lufthansa canceled the tickets of dozens of pro-Palestinian activists scheduled to fly to Tel Aviv on Sunday as part of a mass fly-in dubbed “Welcome to Palestine,” the organizers said Friday.
“Dozens of passengers who bought a plane ticket to travel to Tel Aviv on Sunday, April 15, were notified Thursday by Lufthansa that their reservation was canceled at the behest of Israel,” they said in a statement.
The “flytilla” participants, which consists of some1,500 pro-Palestinian activists from several countries, plan to land in Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday, and from there proceed to the Palestinian Authority.
Israeli authorities announced they would deny the activists entry into Israel and said they would seek to prevent their boarding by providing airline passenger lists.
“Lufthansa, like all airlines, is obliged by the principle of following the laws and guidelines on entry to the territory of countries to which it transports its passengers,” said a spokesman for the company.
“The Israeli authorities have written to several airlines including Lufthansa, and asked them not to fly certain passengers to Israel. Therefore, Lufthansa is obliged to follow this directive,” he said.
However, in their statement, the fly-in organizers warned that passengers “will arrive, as expected, at airports this weekend,” adding that the move constituted a violation of international law.