International Delegates arriving for Palestinian Social Forum arrested at
Ben Gurion Airport
26th December 2002
Ten representatives from Belgium, Spain and the Philippines who were
entering Israel in order to come to Ramallah to participate in the Palestine
Social Forum were today prevented from entering the country.
Since 2 o’clock this afternoon the ten, who arrived on different flights,
have been interrogated and jailed at detention cells at Ben Gurion Airport.
Amongst the delegates is Mr. Pierre Galand, the former Head of OXFAM-Belgium
and President of Belgium National Centre for Developmental Cooperation.
Six women have been detained inside a female cell and four males were thrown
in a cell full of other detainees awaiting deportation.
Despite intensive efforts from the Belgium Foreign Ministry, up till now
(eight hours after the first imprisonment) the delegates release has not
For their part, as their contribution to the Social Forum to be held in
Ramallah from tomorrow onwards, the delegates have decided to set up a
Social Forum from inside the premises of Ben Gurion detention unit.
Mr. Pierre Galand can be reached at: + 972 54 372036