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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ISM activists released after 48 hours without charge


This afternoon two British men and a Swedish woman were released after
being held for 48 hours in an Israeli prison. The three activists who
are with the International Solidarity Movement had been staying in the
Palestinian village Izbet al-Tabib when over 60 Israel soldiers and a
bulldozer arrived on Sunday afternoon with the intention of building a
fence through a section of the village, annexing agricultural land.
The three were charged with being in a closed military zone; however
at the time of the arrests, the military provided the individuals with
no paperwork to support this and the charges against them were
subsequently dropped. All three activists sustained injuries during
their arrests: Rufus from the UK was hit in the face with a gun,
causing severe cuts and bruises; Lisa from Sweden was kicked in the
head and a woman in her 60s volunteering with the Michigan Peace Team
was hospitalised with a head injury and two broken wrists, she was
released from hospital yesterday but is awaiting surgery.

The small village of Izbet al-Tabib is situated south of Qalqilya next
to highway 55 which connects illegal Israeli settlements in the West
Bank. Under the pretext of preventing stones being thrown from the
village onto the highway, Israeli Civil Authorities planned to build a
fence separating the village from the highway, annexing a portion of
the village’s agricultural land. The villagers challenged this
decision in the Supreme Court, however their petition was rejected and
Israeli forces arrived in the village on Sunday morning to begin
levelling the land. International activists joined with villagers in
peacefully protesting the construction.  Villagers also erected a
protest tent on the land which was forcibly removed and confiscated by
the army early on Monday morning.

The village of Izbet al-Tabib, which consists of 45 structures and is
home to 247 residents, was built in the 1920’s and is located entirely
in area C according to the 1995 Interim Agreement (Oslo II). Israeli
authorities do not recognize the village and 32 out of its 45 houses,
as well as its school, have been served demolition orders in recent
years. Izbet al-Tabib is the fifth poorest village in the West Bank
and villagers have already lost 45% of their land due to the
construction of Israel’s Separation Barrier.

For more information contact ISM media on 00972597606276


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