Monday, August 27, 2012

Israel prevents foreign peace activists from entering West Bank

Israel prevents foreign peace activists from entering West Bank
GAZA, (PIC)-- A group of foreign peace activists were denied entry into the West Bank by Israeli authorities at the King Hussein Bridge on Sunday evening.
The 72 activists, who were from Arab and foreign different nationalities, confirmed that they were forced to turn back by Jordanian and Israeli border officials.
Immediately after the members of “Welcome to Palestine” campaign returned to the Jordanian side, they tried to cross the border on foot, but were escorted back to Amman by the Jordanian army which led to confrontations and the injury of a French activist.
The group of 72 activists, willing to cross to the other side, had finished passport checks at the Jordanian side of the King Hussein Bridge but were denied entry at the first Israeli checkpoint, said the Media Center in the Jordanian Public Security Directorate.
It added that seeing the activists trying to cross the borders on foot, the workers in the Jordanian Department of the bridges' security and police directorate moved quickly to stop them so that they will not be harmed and forced them to return to the buses and escorted them to the capital.
Dr. Rami Abdo, regional director of the European-Palestinian relations Council, considered that preventing peace activists from entering occupied West Bank through Karama crossing (King Hussein Bridge), by Israeli occupation, comes in the course of violations and restrictions on freedom of movement which Palestinians of West Bank are daily exposed to.
"The occupation has been, yearly, preventing thousands of Palestinians from a movement, and now it is preventing tens of peace activists", Abdo added in statement to PIC on Sunday.
The foreign solidarity activists stressed their determination to enter the Palestinian territories, "especially as the timing of their campaign coincides with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
Members of "Welcome to Palestine" campaign said during a press conference they held on Sunday in Amman that they were denied four times before, but this time they will insist on entry, noting “We are a group of peaceful people and we are quite sure we will pass this time."
"The denial of entry today at the Allenby Bridge border crossing from Jordan shows that the previous policies of siege and isolation continue," organizers said.

"We thus will continue to initiate more Welcome to Palestine campaigns. We insist on the freedom of entry. As Israel persists in these unjust policies, it is only fair to ask all countries to reciprocate by denying Israelis entry to these countries."
For her part, the campaign chairwoman and French activist Olivia Zamor stated: “The number of activists in solidarity with Palestinian cause is increasing especially with the exacerbated conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories due to Israeli practices."
“We are supporting Palestinian rights and if Israel says no to us, it cannot call itself a democratic country,” the French activist added.
Since Friday, activists have arrived in Jordan, with the intention of crossing the Israeli-controlled border with the West Bank on Sunday. They included French, British, German, Spanish, Italian, and American supporters who ranged in age from young children to people in their 80s.

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