The Israeli authorities are considering expelling foreign peace activists acting as human sheilds for Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Haaretz daily reported Friday.
The paper reported that Israel’s top brass and foreign ministry officials met this week to discuss means of expelling activists.
Israeli bulldozers crushed to death
US activist Rachel Corrie
A foreign ministry spokesman confirmed that meetings had been held but said no decision had yet been reached.
“We discussed the issue of these so-called pacifists, who are in closed military zones where they are not allowed and are putting their own lives at risk,” a spokesman was quoted by AFP as saying.
Activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) have been in the news several times recently, especially in the occupied Gaza Strip’s southern border city of Rafah.
On 16 March Israeli bulldozers crushed to death American peace activist Rachel Corrie, a member of ISM, opposing the bulldozing of a Palestinian home in Gaza.
A month later a second British activist was pronounced clinically dead after being shot by the army when trying to protect children from Israeli fire in the same area.
On Thursday another young British activist was arrested as she was spending the night in a house to prevent its demolition by Israeli troops. She was accused of being in a “closed military area” and expelled to the occupied West Bank.
“If we are not welcome, it is first and foremost because we are witnesses of the atrocities carried out by the Israeli army,” ISM spokesman Tom Wallace said Friday.
The ISM has around 50 foreign activists in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, he said, adding they were already rejected at the airport if identified as peace activists.