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Dutch Peace Activist Detained By At Ben Gurion


Dutch Peace Activist Detained By At Ben Gurion Airport Facing Deportation

Forty-six year old Dutch woman from Groningen, Holland, Christine Grefer, was detained by the Israeli authorities upon her arrival to Ben Gurion airport on Friday July 9, 2004 and is facing deportation. Traveling to the Occupied Palestinian Territories to volunteer with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), Christine was planning to take part in non-violent demonstrations with Palestinians, Israelis, and other internationals against the Apartheid Wall -- the barrier Israel is building in the occupied West Bank. At least a dozen human rights advocates have been denied access to the Occupied Palestinian Territories over the past month and turned back by Israeli authorities at Ben Gurion Airport in what the ISM is treating as a concerted effort by Israeli authorities to break the Freedom Summer Palestine 2004 campaign– a two-month campaign of active nonviolent mobilization for

In Holland, Christine is a computer assistant at a local college. She is a certified Social Studies teacher who also has an advanced degree in theology. Long involved in human rights work, Christine volunteered with the International Solidarity Movement last year in Nablus, engaging mainly in documenting human rights abuses at Israeli military checkpoints. Christine is active with Amnesty International, Green Peace and in animal rights issues.

Earlier this week, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that major portions of the barrier violate international law. The Court called on Israeli officials to cease new construction of the Wall in occupied Palestine, tear down sections, and compensate Palestinians whose land it cuts across or whose interests have otherwise been harmed (New York Times and Ha'aretz, July 10, 2004). The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) has been consistently engaged in demonstrations against the wall while it works to raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom. ISM's success in drawing international attention to the Apartheid Wall and other Israeli human rights abuses has boosted the Palestinians' protests against it in the international community.

Christine’s lawyer, Adv. Gaby Lasky, obtained a temporary injunction against Grefer’s deportation and has filed an appeal against the decision to deny Grefer entry into Israel. Grefer remains imprisoned by Israeli authorities.

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