For Arab travelers through Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, it is common knowledge that lengthy questioning and strip searches come before boarding. As it turns out, forcing passengers into airport back rooms and requiring them to remove clothing is illegal under Israeli law, says legal rights group Adalah.
Category Archives: Ben Gurion Airport
A Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor analysis of UN data show that a recent surge in reports of deportations of individuals attempting to transit through Israel to work with Palestinians is apparently the result of an official strategy implemented by the Israeli government beginning in January of this year.
Hanna is a “17-year-old American girl” who grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. Because her father is a U.S. citizen born in Morocco, and she was traveling with a notebook that had one page of Arabic writing in it, she was subjected to an interrogation and strip search when leaving Israel’s Ben Gurion airport.
Israel has banned an American activist who has worked for years helping Palestinians in Gaza, after denying her entry into the country, detaining her for hours and deporting her against her will. The woman’s ban comes after Israel banned five U.S. citizens at the border in July, all of them the U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation, and another American woman last week crossing from Jordan.
Moara Crivelente, Brazilian journalist and activist, reports on her detainment and deportation at the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport: “Scattered inscriptions written with toothpaste and food on the bunks and walls of an Israeli facility at the Ministry of Interior Population, Immigration and Borders Authority (PIBA) declare: ‘for each International Solidarity Movement you deport back home, ten more will come!’ Me and many before me read those words as we waited for our deportation. After hours of interrogation at the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport, we received a 10-year ban from entering the State of Israel for ‘security reasons.’ With no further explanation, we were declared a threat.”
On July 17, 2016, a group of young American delegates traveled to Israel-Palestine in order to observe the conditions under which Palestinians live, and to gain a better understanding of the situation on the ground. Upon their arrival, a US Campaign staffer and four other members of the group — all carrying US passports — were interrogated by Israeli border police about their backgrounds and political involvement. Four of the five delegates who were questioned, held, and denied entry were people of color and Muslim, and the fifth had a long beard. Israel has ethnically and religiously profiled visitors so often that the State Department’s travel advisory for Israel reads: “Some US citizens of Arab or Muslim heritage not on the Palestinian Population Registry or otherwise prohibited from entering Israel have experienced significant difficulties and unequal and hostile treatment at Israel’s borders and checkpoints.”
Ben Gurion Airport is known for nightmarish stories of harassment and humiliation. But when Adam Horowitz, an American Jew, enters Israeli border control, he is barely asked a question.
Miakoda Wolin-Collins shares her experience traveling in Gaza and the harassment she experienced when leaving Israel/Palestine through the Ben Gurion Airport.
On an American Christian trip to the occupied territories, Rev. Jeffrey DeYoe’s group picks olives, meets highly-educated Palestinians and sees that they don’t even have the right to demonstrate against the occupation.
This past semester Tom Suarez was the violin and viola teacher at the Gaza branch of Palestine’s National Conservatory of Music—”though I never met my students, because Israel blocked me from entering the coastal strip. So I taught by Skype from the West Bank as best I could”
George Khoury tells a harrowing story of being detained and deported from Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. Khoury, an American citizen, was attempting to visit his homeland for the first time in 21 years. Even though he was traveling with an American passport an airport security agent told him, “You belong with the Palestinian people. This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel.”
On April 19, two French music students were held overnight at Israel’s Ben Gurion airport and humiliated, interrogated, strip-searched, and then deported all because their destination was Palestine, where they had previously taught music. The authors relate their story in order to oppose the “violation of intimacy, psychological torture, dehumanization, racism, theft, trauma” that often greet travelers at Ben Gurion.
Samah Assad was detained in Ben Gurion airport as she visited her family home in Palestine for the first time in 13 years. Upset and angry, she asked her father how he can deal with the discrimination and abuse year and year when he visits. His answer: “When we return every year, that is how we fight. If we keep returning, we show them that this is our home. And we’re not giving it up.”
On July 12th, about five days after Israel began to bombard Gaza with the airstrikes of Operation Protective Edge, Julia Carmel arrived at the Israeli-operated Allenby border terminal to cross into the occupied West Bank. Followed by ten hours of detention, interrogation, and some humiliation, she was denied entry by the IDF. Her long-anticipated plans to return to Beit Sahur – to learn, do research, and assist a friend’s community development project for the next two months – were dissolved by two magavniks, who sent her back to Jordan without a legitimate reason and at her own expense.
Photo of Dina Shehadeh at her family home in al-Bireh near Ramallah by Allison Deger Dina Shehadeh, 17, was about to begin her senior year of high school in Ohio where she was born and raised. But two weeks ago, after spending the summer with her extended family in the West Bank, she was separated […]
I arrived at Ben Gurion Airport’s passport control shortly after midnight. At the passport control counter a white paper was put into my passport and I was told to go to a room on the right hand side of the hall, escorted by a security officer. I arrived in a room of mainly Russians. I […]
My name is Andrea Pesce, I am 44 years old and I’m an Italian citizen. For 15 years I had the chance to visit Israel and Palestine, thanks to my former job (I used to be a travel agent) and also because I’m interested in the political situation over there. I travelled as a normal […]
Anonymous, 18, is a Greek-Palestinian British student who lives in London. The author usually goes to Jordan every 2 years, but never had the chance to go to Palestine and hoped to this year as part of a volunteering program. Knowing there would be difficulties at the airport, but never expected what happened. Anonymous says, […]
Anonymous is 21 years old and lives in Berkeley, California. Her father is a Jordanian Palestinian and her mother is a British Jew. The following trip took place in September, 2013. I took a deep breath and looked around at my surroundings. I mostly kept tabs on the other people who I had been in […]
‘There is no humanity here,’ says Sumaya, my new-found friend. ‘I guess that means we’ve had it then,’ I reply, and I try to laugh so that she realizes this is an attempt to lighten the mood, but the laugh comes out dry and hoarse and I can hear the wobble in my voice as […]
Ben Gurion Airport The Arab-American Institute (AAI) has published a collection of stories from American citizens who say they were harassed, detained or deported when trying to enter Israel. The snapshots of trouble at the Israeli border were published as the battle over legislation granting Israelis visa-free entry to the U.S. heats up. The stories […]
Moe Diab I am a 25-year-old Palestinian-American. I was born and raised in San Diego, California. I was raised to be proud of my Palestinian heritage and culture, and to be conscious of the daily Palestinian struggles and oppression, due to the Israeli occupation. My American upbringing instilled in me an appreciation for freedom, liberty, […]
This shocking story– of yet another “huge humiliation” of a non-Jew at Ben Gurion airport– was posted by Mira Awad, an Israeli Palestinian singer, on her Facebook page, in Hebrew, today. Ami Kaufman at +972 provided a translation of the entry, and notes that Awad is a celebrity in Israel. Awad in translation: So, I […]
ben gurion airport “Write your email addresses, your mobile phone number, your house phone, the name of your father and the name of your grandfather on this piece of paper” were the first words the Shabak officer told me when I sat in front of him in his office. As anyone involved in solidarity work […]
I was fortunate this week. I had a quick and easy crossing from Jordan back into Israel. No delays, no questions, no invasive body searches and no lengthy rummaging through my luggage. The border guard sitting next to the computer took my passport, opened it and looked at the screen, presumably to check for any […]