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Three Israeli Activists Arrested


Three Israeli Activists Arrested After Roadblock Removal

Today, Palestinians, internationals from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) and Israeli activists participated in a successful and peaceful roadblock removal in Bizzariya in Tulkarem.

After departing Bizzariya, the bus of the thirty Israeli activists was stopped while still in the West Bank by the Israeli military. Six Israeli activists were detained, and three of the Israeli activists were eventually arrested, including Yonatan Pollack. The three have a court hearing Wednesday at 8:30 AM in Kfar Saba.

During today's action in Bizzariya, nearly 200 villagers, internationals and Israelis, removed three roadblocks of rocks, rubble and dirt from the road between Bizzariya and Anabta using their hands, shovels, picks and a bulldozer. The action was unchallenged by the Israeli army and was completed in two hours. These roadblocks, located deep within the West Bank, serve no "security" purposes, and are one element of the Israeli government measures that collectively punish the Palestinian people.

For more details on today's roadblock removal in Bizzariya see: http://www.palsolidarity.org/reports/writings/8Jun04_09_56_38Tulkarem ISM.htm http://www.palsolidarity.org/pictures/PHOTOS_8Jun04_09_51_47TulkaremI SM.htm

As the Israeli activists departed the Bizzariya area by bus they were first filmed by an individual hiding in the grass, and then followed by a jeep. At the Jabarra checkpoint, still within the West Bank, they were stopped. Plainclothes Israeli officers who appeared to be from the Israeli General Security Services (GSS) entered the bus and videotaped the activists. They collected the activists IDs, questioned them, and searched their bags. Some activists were made to disembark the bus and re-embark multiple times.

Six Israeli activists were eventually detained, including one journalist who had refused to stop filming the officers. Three of the activists, including the journalist, were eventually released, but three were arrested. The three are being held at a police station at the illegal Israeli West Bank settlement of Ariel.

The three arrested activists, including Yonatan Pollack, will be presented to a judge tomorrow morning, Wednesday, at 8:30 AM at the court at Kfar Saba at Beit Mishbat Shalom. Information provided to date indicates that they are being charged with entering "Area A" (the area under full Palestinian control according to the Oslo Accords), and with "participating in an illegal demonstration."

However, today's action at Bizzariya was an entirely peaceful roadblock removal involving no contact with or even sighting of the Israeli military. It is also ironic that the Israeli government has attempted to criminalize the entry of Israeli citizens into "Area A". The term "Area A" is a vestige of the Oslo Agreements, agreements that have been entirely abrogated by the Israeli government. The Israeli government created and exploits this ban on entering "Area A" to prevent Palestinians and Israelis from working together and developing positive relationships.

The arrests of the three Israeli activists are part of the Israeli government's broader strategy of harassing Israeli and international activists who are working with Palestinians to carry out non-violent actions to bring an end to Israel's military occupation.

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