He was detained just because he leads a campaign in solidarity with the Palestinians under Israeli occupation
Israeli authorities claimed that they detained Lanning because he poses a threat on the Israeli occupation state as he heads the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC)
Israeli occupation police detained anti-occupation British activist Hugh Lanning as he arrived in Ben Gurion Airport on Sunday evening.
Lanning was detained immediately upon his arrival in order not to be allowed to enter Israel or occupied territories. He is expected to board a plane back to his country today.
Israeli authorities claimed that they detained Lanning because he poses a threat on the Israeli occupation state as he heads the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC).
According to an Israeli statement, the PSC, led by Lanning, is the leading force in the effort to delegitimise Israel in Britain and among the biggest in Europe.
The PSC, the statement claimed, cooperates “with other delegitimising organisations to promote the boycott [of Israel] and other activities against the state of Israel.” The statement refers to the BDS movement.
One of the reasons that Israel considers PSC an illegitimate group is the fact that some of its members took part in the Mavi Marmara Flotilla, which aimed to break the Israeli siege on Gaza in 2010 but pirated by the Israeli commando and all activists on board were kidnapped.
Lanning visited the Gaza Strip in 2012 via Egypt, when the freely-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi ruled the country. Therefore, Israel accuses Lanning of maintaining ties with Hamas, the movement, which was freely elected by the Palestinians to rule the occupied territories.
Last week, the Israeli Knesset approved a law that would automatically deny entry to people who support boycotts against Israel and support Palestinians, or who represent an organisation that does so, unless the Israeli interior minister chooses to allow them in.
Interior Minister Arye Dery, who oversees the immigration authority, said: “The decision reached tonight [to detain Lanning] sends an unequivocal message to pro-boycott activist.”