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Israel Arrests Canadian Peace Activist

Israel Arrests Canadian Peace Activist Pending Deportation

The Israeli occupation authorities are to deport a Canadian peace activist arrested in the West Bank city of Hebron as part of a wide-scale crackdown on internationals working in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Greg Rowlins, a volunteer with the Christian Peacemaker Team, was arrested Monday while trying to cross into reoccupied northern West Bank city, said his lawyer, Jonathan Katab.

An Israeli spokesperson confirmed the arrest adding that Rowlins maybe deported on Thursday.

Katab said the Christian group had been active in Hebron for years.

“They are group who oppose all violence, including violence by Palestinians,” Katab said.

“Back in August, Greg jumped in front of two soldiers after a Palestinian woman tried to attack them with a big kitchen knife, putting his body in front of them,” he added.

Other volunteers from the group in Hebron were under virtual house arrest and had been threatened with deportation if they enter Palestinian territory, Katab said.

Israel has stepped up its crackdown on foreign peace activists by arresting and deporting them and blocking new activists from entering the occupied Palestinian territory.

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM), which has posted dozens of foreign activists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, condemned the move as an attempt to allow Israeli “atrocities” against Palestinians to go unchecked.

In the first signs of the new crackdown, many ISM members were detained this month by Israeli occupation troops in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The crackdown comes after a tragic two months for the activists.

Rachel Corrie, an American, was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer while Tom Hurndall, a British activist, is in a coma after being shot in the head by an Israeli occupation army sniper last month.

Another American activist—Brian Avery—was seriously wounded when he was shot in the face by an Israeli occupation soldier.

A British freelance journalist was also shot dead earlier this month while filming a documentary in the southern city of Rafah along the Egyptian border.

He was filming a documentary on the Israeli occupation army’s house demolitions when an Israeli tank opened fire, hitting him in the neck.

Recently, the Israeli occupation army forced foreigners entering the Gaza Strip to sign a waiver absolving the IOF of responsibility for their safety and agreeing not to enter “war zones.”

The London-based human rights group, Amnesty International condemned the Israeli authorities’ decision adding that the organization “is categorically opposed to any attempt to get people to sign away their rights.”

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