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A letter from prison

1. Update on Johan

2. A letter from prison by Johan

3. Israeli Solidarity visit to Hebron families by CPT

4. Next Bi'lin demonstration


1. Update on Johan

Johan Persson from Gothenburg, Sweden has been in Israeli custody since Sunday May 15 after participating in a peaceful protest against the Wall.

Johan was deported from Israel by the Israeli Ministry of Interior at 6am this morning, May 19. He will arrive in Gothenburg late this evening.

Yesterday Johan conveyed this letter from prison in which he explained what has happened and why he is acting against the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip


2. The letter from Johan

For three days I've been held prisoner, while waiting for deportation. I'm being ordered out of Israel. I don't know the exact accusation is. It could be that I'm a security risk for the state of Israel, It could be that I've been in areas that are forbidden or maybe it's something completely different. Whatever it might be, for me it's completely irrelevant. I cannot respect a legal system that preserves the apartheid and the occupation. I know what I've done and I know that it's right to do it.

The wall that Israel is building on Palestinian ground is a crime against law, morality and people. When the UN and the rest of the world choose to close their eyes, or at the most make statements that mean nothing, it's the individual's obligation to act.

The wall destroys enormous areas of cultivated land, ground vital for Palestinians. Since the wall isn't being built on the Green Line, i.e. the "border" between Israel and Palestine, but on Palestinian ground, even more land is being annexed. Furthermore the wall steals important water resources and hedges in separate households and whole villages tight in areas that looks like no mans land.

Also the International Court in Hague has realized the consequences of the wall and declared it illegal. The International Red Cross has in several reports pointed out the suffering the wall causes for civilians. For me it's obvious to act when injustice is being committed. Last Sunday when I, together with Palestinian and Israeli friends, arranged a totally peaceful protest against the wall, I had with me all the knowledge and experience I've gained during my almost two-month stay in the occupied West Bank. I'm proud and thankful that I've had the chance to participate in the peaceful and brave resistance against the Berlin Wall of our time.

But the wall is just one of several aspects of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Taken all together, all the consequences of the occupation create a large cunning and systematic oppression, which in the end is aiming to prevent the creation of an independent Palestinian state. People's freedom of movement is restricted to the degree that no one can travel freely in the West Bank. Instead most people are held locked up in their villages, their cities or the area just around their neighborhood; an effective way to prevent schooling, work, production or visits to hospitals. It is a cruel and brutal way to keep people from living in peace and a way to kill all hope for a peaceful future.

Approximately 8000 Palestinian men and women are today in Israeli prisons, most of them without trial, any sentence and even any official accusation. I feel both relief and guilt for the fact that I, as a Swedish citizen, am not at risk of physical or psychological torture. I know that I will see my family and friends in a short time. My time being detained is limited and, thanks to my nationality, I'm guaranteed some human rights. A luxury not granted Palestinians.

The growing settlements are posing a growing problem for the Palestinian people. Settlers have a tradition of taking whatever they want by violence and force: water, roads, cultivated ground or access to the sea. Only the leftovers are being left for the Palestinians in the area: bad water, bad dirt roads over mountains that are not suitable for traffic and infertile land.

It's these and other experiences of the cruel consequences of the occupation that makes me engage here. I've supported a determined people that are fighting a harsh battle with peaceful means against a superior occupying power. I urge all fellow citizens to come here and fight with us: against the wall and against violence and oppression, for a free Palestine.

Johan Persson, written in custody in Ramleh, Israel


3. Israeli Peace Activists to Make a Solidarity Visit to Palestinian Families Besieged by Settler Violence in Tel Rumeida, Hebron

Solidarity Visit Date: Saturday, May 21, 3:00 PM

Hebron's settler population has taken advantage of the heightened focus on Gaza to escalate their violence against Palestinian families and to expand their settlement, practically unchallenged. On Saturday, May 21, Israeli peace activists will visit these besieged families in Tel Rumeida, Hebron in solidarity with their struggle against settler violence and land theft.

One peace activist said: "While we completely oppose and strongly condemn the criminal actions of the Hebron settlers directed towards the cities civilian population, and the military support that these acts receive from the IDF, we as Israeli citizens, feel fully responsible for these actions and the least we can do is visit the Palestinian families of Tel Rumeida to see for ourselves the extreme living situation which they have no choice but to deal with daily."

Palestinian families who live next to the settlement, often as virtual prisoners, will welcome Israeli visitors into their homes. Israelis will hear first hand accounts of the harassment and violence families endure, often on a daily basis and especially on Shabbat when attacks are worse.

Israelis will walk the path of the proposed new settler road that will expand the settlement and destroy part of a Muslim cemetery and olive trees.

They will also view the recently completed multi storey building inside the settlement.

Members of the media are invited to witness these meetings. Press will be able to interview Palestinian families and Israelis, as well as shoot footage of the dangerous and difficult paths Palestinians must travel to reach their homes. Most of the Palestinian families speak English and are eager to share their stories with press.

To see recent pictures of Tel Rumeida please see our website at


4. There will be a demonstration this Friday in Bil'in against the wall which is being built on the village lands. For background on the struggle in Bil'in see the coverage in the indymedia: dosearch=1&searchtext=billin


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