Israel has become increasingly strict following a series of run-ins with international activists in recent years, highlighted by a deadly clash two years ago between Israeli naval commandos and a flotilla trying to break Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip. Both sides accused the other of provoking the violence in which nine Turkish activists were killed.
Since then, Israel has prevented international activists from arriving on similar flotillas as well as a pair of “fly-ins” by pro-Palestinian activists. Israeli officials acknowledge they used social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter, to identify activists ahead of time and prevent them from boarding flights to Israel.
Emanuel Gross, a law professor at Haifa University, said such a practice would seem to be illegal in Israel.
“In Israel, you need a search warrant to go into somebody’s computer,” he said. “I’m skeptical that the security guards asked a judge first for a warrant and I’m skeptical that a judge would give it.”