by Billy Briggs
Originally published in The Herald
A Scottish peace activist is facing deportation from Israel for the second time.
Andrew MacDonald, 31, from Spean Bridge, Lochaber, near Fort William, is currently being held in a detention centre near the Gaza Strip, but is resisting his removal.
He was arrested by Israeli police in Hebron in the West Bank on November 24.
His father, John Muncie, said yesterday that Israeli police had threatened that Mr MacDonald could be drugged and put on a plane back to the UK.
Mr Muncie said: “His refusal is a protest against the state of Israel’s policy of deporting human rights workers from the occupied territories of Palestine. Andrew was in Palestine for 15 weeks before his arrest.
“He spent most of his time in Tel Rumeida, an area of Hebron where the Palestinians live in virtual hell. They suffer from the daily abuse of the 500 or so Israeli settlers who established an illegal enclave there a few years ago. Countless instances of daily brutality to the dwindling Palestinian population were recorded and photographed by Andrew and his colleagues, who lived in an apartment in Tel Rumeida.
“They daily escorted Palestinian children to and from school to try to protect them from the assaults of settlers.”
In August 2003, Mr MacDonald, a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was deported after trying to stop soldiers blowing up and bulldozing the house of a Palestinian family where he was staying in Nablus.
He subsequently changed his surname from Muncie to MacDonald so he could obtain a new passport and return to Israel.
His father said the family fully supported his decision to go back.
“He had gone out in 2003 to try to support the ordinary Palestinians. The attempt had been cut short. He was still of a mind to help them.
“Andrew MacDonald was the name on his new passport. As Andrew Muncie, he would have been stopped at Tel Aviv airport. This in spite of the fact that Andrew Muncie had committed no crime or offence when he had last been there,” Mr Muncie said.
During his latest stay, Mr MacDonald attended peaceful demonstrations against the controversial wall which the Israeli government is constructing in the West Bank.
No-one was available for comment yesterday at the Israeli Embassy in London.
The ISM is a Palestinian-led non-political movement which helps to organise non-violent protests against terror and illegal occupation.