Tobias Karlsson from Sweden
Tariq Loubani from Canada
Bill Capowski from New York, USA
Fredrick Lind from Denmark
Full details are not yet known and none of the peace activists are answering their phones, however we just received the following text message: “at Salem abused and beaten”. This seems to indicate that the four are being held at the Salem Military Base, north of Jenin.
Since the peace camp was set up on Monday, July 7, 2003, activists have faced threats and harassment from the Israeli Military, from heavily armed security guards working for the Israeli company building that section of the Wall, and from Israeli settlers.
Activists have been threatened with violence, removal, and arrest. The response of international activists was that they were there at the request of the people of the village, and didn’t recognize Israeli military authority over the area. On Monday, soldiers came to the area of the camp to photograph international activists and local villagers and yesterday armed guards threatened to destroy the camp.
Despite the harassment there has been steady and enthusiastic support from the people of the village of Arrabony. Men, women, and children have been a twenty-four-hour presence at the camp, and are coming every day in greater numbers. Activities at the camp have included games and sports, music, and more.
For the past year the Israeli government has been building a massive wall that it claims is for purposes of “security”. The wall, however, is being built inside of the West Bank, destroying and confiscating from Palestinians their most fertile agricultural grounds and de facto annexing into Israeli illegal settlements and valuable underground water aquifers. Tens of thousands of Palestinian fruit and olive trees have already been destroyed and farmers are being prevented from working on land that they’ve lived off of for decades. The Palestinian people have been marching and protesting this land confiscation and destruction of livelihood but have been met with violence from the Israeli authorities and silence from the international community. The Arrabony peace camp is one of 4 similar protest camps in the West Bank.
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