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Israel: Jewish American activist jailed upon entry

Jewish American peace activist jailed upon entry into Israel plans to resist deportation

K. Flo Razowsky, a Minneapolis, Minnesota resident and long-time peace activist, was jailed and denied entry into Israel upon arrival of her flight today at Ben Gurion airport. Israeli authorities have said they will deport Ms. Razowsky on a 5:00 AM flight on Saturday. She plans to non-violently resist her deportation.

Ms. Razowsky, has spent 14 months in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories since August 2002 working with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led nonviolent movement opposed to the Israeli occupation Palestine. This would be Ms. Razowsky's third visit to the region as an international peace activist and independent journalist.

In March 2004, Ms.Razowsky was arrested by the Israeli military while participating with Palestinians and Israelis in a non-violent demonstration against the Wall that Israel is building on Palestinian land deep within the West Bank. The construction of the Wall on Palestinian land was ruled a violation of international law by the International Court of Justice, the world's highest legal body.

"As a Jewish woman raised with the religious education of Mitzvah (good deeds), it is my duty to participate in the process towards peace between Israel and Palestine," Ms. Razowsky commented from her detention cell at Ben Gurion airport just before her phone was taken from her. "Talk of peace cannot happen while one involved party is occupying the other. I am here to voice the concern that the occupation needs to end before peace can even be thought about."

Despite repeated efforts to renew her visa last year, Israeli authorities have cited her yearlong stay in Israel in 2004 as illegal. Ms. Razowsky and her lawyer contest the grounds for deportation and plan to fight it in Israeli court.

ISM has documented more than 130 international activists who have been denied entry to Israel and the Occupied Territories by Israeli authorities over the past three years. More than 70 international activists have been deported during the same period. Most of these international activists were involved in peaceful protests against Israel's Wall.

Additionally, thousands of Palestinian, international and Israeli activists have been wounded by the Israeli military while participating in nonviolent protests during the current intifada. Six Palestinians were killed during anti-wall protests in the West Bank and two ISM activists, Rachel Corrie and Tom Hurndall, were killed by the Israeli military in Rafah in 2003. Last Monday, Israel's Supreme Court ordered that the army must reopen its investigation into the shooting of American ISM activist Brian Avery.

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