FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
While the evacuation of illegal settlers from the Hebron market has been postponed, the IOF has not halted its campaign of indimidation and lies against Human Rights Workers. At 2:20 on Thursday January 19th, David Parsons, a Human Rights Worker from Canada, was arrested by the Israeli Police in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron and taken to Kiryat Arba Police station, and is currently awaiting deportation at Ben-Gurion Airport.
David stated from the airport detention center that “during the last week, the incessant settler attacks on the Palestinian residents have increased dramatically. International observers insist that the Israeli Military and Police fulfill their responsibilities of protecting the Palestinians; however, they clearly resent this and have been doing everything to remove witnesses from the area.” David had been working with other Internationals and Palestinians in Tel Rumeida, trying to decrease settler violence against Palestinian civilians in the area. Among other things, they escort Palestinian children to and from school, thus preventing settlers from throwing stones and harassing them, as normally happens several times a week.
There has been a concerted effort by the Israeli Military and Police forces to remove International HRW’s from Tel Rumeida, Hebron. David was one of 4 internationals arrested on false premises in early November 2005 in Tel Rumeida. “I would like to express outrage and contempt for the behavior of the police,” were the words of Judge Rafi Strauss in his final statement, before releasing the four Human Rights Workers falsely accused of assaulting an IOF soldier in Tel Rumeida. The police officers tried their hardest to bend the law in order to get the Human Rights Workers deported, but did not succeed in their quest at that time.
Since being taken to Ben-Gurion Airport, a deportation hearing has already been held for Mr. Parsons. The hearing has found grounds for deporting him, citing his expired visa, despite his having an appointment with the Ministry of the Interior to extend it. His lawyer Gabby Lasky is trying to prevent his deportation.
For more information please contact:
David – 0546 517 234 ISM & Tel Rumeida Project
Luna, Tel Rumeida Project – 054 557 3154 www.telrumeidaproject.org
ISM Media Office +972 2 297 1824 www.palsolidarity.org
ISM Media Office Mobile – 0575720754
Gabby Lasky 0544418988