Israel told European countries it was aware of pro-Palestinian activists who are intent on causing disturbances if they touch down in Israel as part of the 'flytilla' on Sunday, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Saturday evening.
Speaking of communications between Israel and foreign governments and airlines, which included an Israeli transfer of names on a no-fly blacklist, Aharonovitch said, "We've asked them not to allow boarding for those who were identified by us. They acted pretty much accordingly."
The public security minister, who has ministerial responsibility for Israel's response to the attempt by large numbers of pro-Palestinian activists to touch down in Israel, said a passenger plane with activists could land in Israel as early as Saturday night.
"We've started initial preparations tonight," he said on Saturday. "Tomorrow is the main day... clear instructions have been given to the police, the interior minister... to prevent provocations and not allow disturbances at Ben Gurion Airport," he added.
Those who manage to circumvent no-fly lists and land at the airport, and who have been identified by Israel as provocateurs, will be "isolated from the central airport," Aharonioitch said. Activists who get past all of Israel's measures "will be arrested if they cause disturbances," he added.
Two European airlines, Jet2.com and Lufthansa airlines, canceled the air tickets of pro-Palestinian activists on Friday. Jet2.com emailed three Manchester women who had intended on participating in the "flytilla" that their tickets were null, and that no refund was available, the Guardian reported Friday.
Lufthansa German Airlines canceled the tickets of dozens of passengers.
The pro-Palestinian website #Airflotilla2 uploaded a scanned image of one of the tickets cancelled by Lufthansa, and reported that the same notification had been sent to dozens of activists on Thursday, informing them that their reservation had been canceled "by order of Israel."
Hundreds of unarmed police officers will guard the airport on Sunday, as anywhere between 500 to 1000 activists try to land in Israel, according to police estimates. Sunday is expected to be one of Israel's busiest air travel days, with some 45,000 passengers landing and taking off from Ben Gurion.
Central police district chief Cmdr. Bentsi Sao will oversee the national operation, which is aimed at ensuring a smooth routine at the airport.
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