Dan Meridor 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor on Saturday defended the government against claims it overreacted to the "air flotilla" to Ben-Gurion Airport.
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was no hysteria in the handling of the air flotilla," Meridor said in
an interview with Channel 2. "We handled it with smart and considered
action," he added.
stated that the actions of those air flotilla activists who managed to
evade Israel's immigration authorities and enter Israel proved the
danger that the participants posed and that their intentions were to
disturb public order. "Those who came here did not go to Ramallah or
Bethlehem, they went to a roadblock to clash with soldiers," he stated.
Pro-Palestinian activists that managed to pass border control at
Ben-Gurion Airport as part of the "air flotilla" arrived in the West
Bank on Saturday and were present for clashes with security forces
in Nabi Saleh, Channel 2 reported."Welcome
to Palestine" organizers said that fly-in activists would be
participating in events marking the anniversary of the International
Court of Justice's ruling on the West Bank security barrier.
majority of activists were prevented from arriving to Israel in foreign
airports, but 124 activists who landed at Ben-Gurion airport were
detained in prisons around the country and were awaiting deportation.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon thanked European countries
on Saturday for helping to limit the number of pro-Palestinian
activists arriving at Ben-Gurion Airport. Ayalon said that "Israel
thanks the European countries for their assistance and cooperation in
preventing the provocative 'air flotilla' that was planned."
[Israel] proved that contrary to conventional thought, [it] is not
isolated and is a reputable player in the international community," the
deputy foreign minister added. Ayalon said, "no country would allow a
violation of its sovereignty and laws, not by local law breakers and
certainly not by foreigners."
Meridor called the air flotilla
part of a "fascinating new strategy", being employed by the Palestinians
and in the Arab world in general, by which non-violence instead of
force was being used to achieve goals. "This strategy works, we
saw it in Tahrir Square in Egypt...the answer is not military."
rejected claims that the government's failure to advance the diplomatic
process with the Palestinians has caused actions against Israel such as
the air flotilla, the sea flotilla to break the blockade of Gaza, or
pro-Palestinian activists storming Israel's borders on Nakba Day and
"We are trying to get the Palestinians back to the
negotiating table," Meridor stated, blaming the Palestinians for the
stagnation of the peace process.
"Netanyahu gave a speech to the
Knesset prior to his last trip to Washington in which he laid out a
base for negotiations which can lead to an agreement," said Meridor,
emphasizing that the prime minister had stated Israel's position that in
an agreement the Jewish State would retain Jerusalem, the settlement
blocs and maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley.