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90th Peace Activist To Be Deported By Israel

May 16, 2005

90th International Peace Activist To Be Deported By Israel

The Israeli Ministry of Interior has issued another deportation order against an international peace activist.

Johan Persson is from Sweden and was arrested in Bili'n Sunday May 15, during a non violent demonstration against Israel's Illegal Barrier. He is the ninetieth solidarity activist to be deported since April 2002. Hundreds of others have been denied access to the occupied territories. ISM alone has documented 161 cases of denied entry.

Johan was arrested in the last of a series of Non violent actions organized by the residents of Bil'in and joined by Israeli and International activists. Like the 89 people before him, Johan was exploiting his status as an international to support Palestinian non violent resistance to Israeli occupation. Violence against Palestinians is lessened by the presence of Internationals including Israelis. He was also carrying out his own personal responsibility as dictated by the international court of justice which declared the wall illegal and called for dismantling of it. According to the ruling, all signatories to the Geneva Convention are obliged to recognize the illegal situation caused by construction of the wall and to cease aiding or assisting in maintaining the illegal situation.

Because governments around the world refuse to fulfill their obligations and enforce the ICJ ruling, human rights activists are putting their lives at risk to do their part. Large churches such as the Presbyterian Church have begun to discuss divestment from Israel for its continued violations of human rights and its continued building of the wall. The World Council of Churches has recommended that all of its members consider divestment. If governments took seriously their obligations under international law, such steps would not be necessary.

Until governments begin to take their responsibilities seriously then peace and human rights activists like johan will continue to come to the West Bank in order support non violent resistance and will most likely continue to be arrested and deported by the Israeli occupation establishment.

ENDS

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