Monday, August 27, 2012

Activist blames Jordan, not Israel, for stopping bus at Allenby

From AFP:
Jordan on Sunday barred pro-Palestinian US and European activists from trying to cross into the West Bank to deliver school supplies to students.

"Two buses carrying 100 activists were not allowed to leave the Jordanian side" of Allenby Bridge Crossing, also known as King Hussein Bridge between the West Bank and Jordan, Walid Atallah, a spokesman for the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign in Jordan, told AFP.

"The Jordanian authorities stamped their passports and charged them fees and everything was okay. When the buses left, the last checkpoint on the Jordanian side was closed. No reason was given."

Atallah said the "activists left the buses and started to demonstrate near the checkpoint. One of them fainted and was taken to hospital."

"This was deliberate. Jordan did not want Israel to be held responsible for denying the activists entry," he added.
This directly contradicts what they said yesterday:
Dozens of foreign peace activists were denied entry into the West Bank by Israeli authorities at the Allenby Bridge crossing on Sunday evening, organizers of the third 'Welcome to Palestine' initiative said.

"The Welcome to Palestine Campaign decries the Israeli denial of entry via the Allenby Bridge to over 100 internationals who wanted to visit us in the occupied Palestinian Territories," organizers said in a statement.
AP says that Israel admits stopping them, though:
French organizer Olivia Zemor of the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign said Israeli authorities asked no questions and stamped "entry denied" into the passports without an explanation.

Israel's Defense Ministry denounced the protesters as "provocateurs and known troublemakers."

Earlier, Zemor told reporters in the Jordanian capital, Amman, that the group aimed to deliver one ton of school supplies to Palestinian children in refugee camps in Bethlehem.

In a statement late Sunday, the Israeli Defense Ministry called the effort a "failed publicity stunt." It said Israel exercised its right to deny them entry.

"There are no restrictions whatsoever on bringing in school supplies," the statement said. "If these activists sincerely wanted to bring in school supplies, they had countless options to do so. There are no shortages of school supplies in the West Bank."
The EuroPalestine site says that both events happened. The first bus was stopped by Israel, and the second by Jordan, according to the site.

Of course, the WtP spokesperson says both were stopped by Jordan. But the official statement said that both buses were stopped by Israel ("Israeli denial ... to over 100 internationals.")

Whatever happened, we see that these "activists" cannot be trusted to even keep their own stories straight, and any media that relies on them for information is acting irresponsibly.