News Release

* Protests in Tahrir Square * Israel Blocks Activists from Reaching West Bank

* The Washington Post reports: “Tens of thousands of Egyptians gathered Friday in Tahrir Square, the symbol of the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak this year, to protest what they perceive as an unwillingness to prosecute Mubarak-era officials and police responsible for the killing of nearly 900 protesters.

“The demonstration, dubbed the ‘Friday of determination,’ was the largest since the revolt in January and February that changed Egypt and inspired other Arab countries to rise up against their autocratic leaders. Egyptians in the square said they had no plans to leave.”

SHARIF ABDEL KOUDDOUS, sharif at democracynow.org
Kouddous is senior news producer at Democracy Now. He said on the show today: “Tahrir Square is absolutely filled right now. There are hundereds of thousands of people here who have gathered today to call to protect the revolution and to continue its goals. Many feel that the direction of the country five months after Hosni Mubarak was toppled is going in the wrong direction. … Many feel that the body and the soul of the former regime still remains. … There is a sense the revolution is being stolen from beneath people’s feet here.”

* The BBC reports: “Palestinian groups have criticized Israel after activists planning to visit the West Bank were barred from flying and others were deported. Israeli officials said airlines blocked some 200 blacklisted travelers from flying to Tel Aviv. The Welcome to Palestine group says the action shows restrictions on access to Palestinian areas. The so-called ‘flytilla’ comes after Greece blocked an aid flotilla trying to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.”

JOSEPH DANA, joseph.dana at gmail.com
Dana is a reporter covering what is happening at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv. He is typically based in the West Bank and is a contributing editor for the online independent commentary magazine +972. Today he tweeted: “I have spoken with many of the activists on board the @airflotilla and they all express the same wish, to travel to the West Bank openly.” Follow his updates on twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ibnezra.