Originally published in The Indian Express
RAMALLAH: An appeal for the release of Harmeet Singh Soodan, the Indo-Canadian volunteer of the Christian Peacemaker Team kidnapped in Iraq, came from an unexpected quarter on Thursday—the International Solidarity Movement that supports the Palesitinan cause, with which Soodan had worked when he was in West Bank and Jenin between December 2004 and January 2005.*
“He worked in solidarity with local Palestinian people, mostly in West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin,” an ISM spokesman said. While in Jenin, Soodan had worked with a group of activists who planted olive trees .
Soodan had been planning to come back to Palestine for three months to rejoin the ISM in December as a long-term activist, but he first decided to join a two week CPT delegation to Iraq, ISM said.
The Indo-Canadian, in an e-mail to his friends recently described the purpose of the four-person team’s work in Iraq as “providing humanitarian aid in the form of training and documentation of non-violent responses to lethal inter-group conflict”.
“We will also record the current conditions in Iraq, meeting with representatives of NGO’s, Christian and Muslim clerics, Iraqi Human Rights groups and others,” he wrote.
Another hostage, Tom Fox (54) also worked in Palestine and had participated in demonstrations against construction of the Israeli fence in Jayyous, the ISM said.
*The International Solidarity Movement is priviliged to have worked with the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron for several years. The ISM is proud to stand in solidarity with CPT in this difficult time.