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ISM Activists Detained By Israeli Military


ISM Activists Detained By Israeli Military

[Refugee Camp, TULKAREM] Two American ISM volunteers and one Palestinian were taken by Israeli Forces at 9:45AM this morning after accompanying schoolgirls to their homes. Mike Johnson, age 52 from Washington, Matteo Bernal, age 22, from Kentucky and Osama Qashoo, 21, from Qalqilia are currently being held at the Tulkarem DCO.

ISM volunteers arrived to the Tulkarem refugee camp at approximately 7AM this morning, witnessing dozens of schoolgirls on their way to school amidst a heavy military presence including three tanks, multiple armored personnel carriers, a D-9 bulldozer, hummers and jeeps. About fifteen girls between nine and eleven years old were stranded on their on way to school, crying and paralyzed in fear from the Army’s sound grenades and random firing of rubber bullets. The ISM volunteers informed the Israeli Military of their decision to escort the girls out of harms way. The army agreed to let the volunteers take the children home and did not instruct them to leave the area.

Upon attempting to leave the camp at 9:45AM, after having led the schoolgirls to safety, Israeli Forces stopped the volunteers, refusing to let them leave the camp under the pretext that the area was a military zone. A large truck and a military jeep arrived, at which point the three volunteers were taken to the Tulkarem DCO where they are currently being held in a 15X30 cell.

Johnson and Bernal are the sixth and seventh foreign ISM peace activists to be taken by Israeli forces in the past two weeks.


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