International Activists Detained, Beaten By IDF
International Activists Detained, Beaten By Israeli Defense Force
A group of 28 international activists were detained for over three hours and beaten by Israeli Defense Force troops outside the Palestinian city of Nablus yesterday. The abuse included having shots fired at the ground in front of them as well as physical beatings with fists, boots, and guns. At least one female activist was thrown violently against a wall. The activists responded with non-violent civil disobedience tactics, lying on the ground and refusing to react to the abuse.
The activists were attempting to deliver food to Palestinians trapped in Nablus by the IDF, who have now been without food, water, and urgently needed medical attention for weeks as the Israelis have continued to effectively seal off the town even after intense fighting there ended. They include five UK citizens, 15 French, five Danish, and three Americans - two from New York City and one from Chicago. They are members of the International Solidarity Movement, which has been sending groups of activists to the occupied territories since last summer to provide aid and act as a buffer of non-violent civil disobedience for the Palestinians. A group of Palestinian citizens who were with the internationals also were subjected to abuse.
ISM members said the IDF actions were similar to tactics the army has used against Israeli peace activists, and against ISM activists who attempted to enter Gaza on an aid mission last December. Earlier this month, several activists were hit by shrapnel when IDF troops fired at an ISM team in Bethlehem, one requiring hospitalization. Beatings and violent shakings are also common practice in the IDF's dealings with Palestinians on the streets of the occupied towns and cities of the West Bank.