World Bulletin / News Desk
Israel on Sunday banned pro-Palestinian US and European activists from trying to cross into the occupied West Bank to deliver aid to students.
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.
As part of the campaign, aimed at highlighting Israel's control over entry to the occupied territories, the activists sought to provide Palestinian students with a tonne of toys, pens, notebooks and other supplies.
"This is our fourth initiative to enter Palestine," Zemor told a news conference before leaving for the crossing, around 35 kilometres (20 miles) southeast of Amman.
"We have around 100 participants, from France, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, the United States, aged between 10 and 50. All kinds of people, from all backgrounds and religions. They are all motivated to visit Palestine."
Five school buses drove the activists to the crossing as they chanted "Free Palestine!" and sang Palestinian traditional songs. Some wore T-shirts with "I have a dream" printed on them, while others flashed V-for-victory sign.
The campaigners tried to enter the occupied West Bank through Israel in July 2011 and April 2012, but the authorities at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport denied them entry.
The activists, who had planned to stay for a week in the West Bank, say their mission comes at the invitation of Bethlehem governor Abdel-Fatah Hamayel.
Zemor said the activists want Israel to grant freedom of movement to the Palestinians and their visitors. Some also demand the lifting of an Israeli blockade on Gaza. She said the group, ranging in age from 10 to 80, was peaceful and unarmed.
She said a few of the protesters tried crossing the bridge but were ordered back to Jordan. She said buses ferrying the protesters were escorted in the direction of the Jordanian capital, Amman, by Jordanian anti-riot police and other security personnel.
The group said it hopes to visit a Palestinian refugee camp near Amman.
In a new front, fighting spread west of Tripoli close to the oil and gas port of Mellitah, operated by NOC and Italy's ENI
Middle Eastern countries will continue to be world's main oil supplier, says IEA chief economist
Essam Sultan, deputy leader for Wasat party jailed for one year for verbal and physical assault of policeman.
Schools shut as protesting teachers demand the government pass an education bill.
Syria approves delivery in hard to reach areas of Aleppo
Oil prices increased on Monday after India and China revealed high oil demand for November.
They will discuss a possible military action against Congo-based Rwandan rebels
Iranian parliament speaker has hailed a planned national dialogue in Lebanon between rivals Hezbollah and Sunni-led Future Movement
Veteran politician Beji Caid Essebsi has won Tunisia's first free presidential election, official results showed, but rioting broke out in one southern city, with police firing teargas to disperse hundreds of youths who burned tyres and blocked streets to demonstrate against the victory of an official from Ben Ali's old guard.
Officials from Sweden’s center-left and center-right parties secretly gather to solve failed agreements on the country’s 2015 budget, local media reports.
Pakistan plans to execute around 500 militants in coming weeks, officials said on Monday, after the government lifted a moratorium on the death penalty following a Taliban school massacre.
Brotherhood source says that the group's meetings and conferences were now being held outside Qatar, which is why he believes his residency in Doha won't be affected by the country's recent rapprochement with Egypt.
Ling is vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee and head of the United Front Work Department of the CPC Central Committee.
Francis said some in the Curia acted as if they were "immortal, immune or even indispensable", an apparent reference to retired cardinals who remain in the Vatican
Local residents have protested against the Letpadaung mine in Monywa, about 100 km (60 miles) west of Mandalay, saying thousands of acres of land have been confiscated to enable the project to proceed.