FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
At 3:00 in the morning to Friday, ISM-activist Andrew Macdonald was forcefully deported from Israel, 7 weeks after being abducted from Palestine by the Israeli Border Police. Still refusing to comply with the State of Israel’s policy of deporting Human Rights Workers from Palestine, he was carried on to the plane and accompanied by two Police Officers on the plane from Tel Aviv to London.
Before his arrest, Andrew worked in Tel Rumeida, Hebron, where ISM and the Tel Rumeida Project provides an international presence to support the daily Palestinian non-violent struggle against attacks from Hebron’s violent settlers. Before and after his arrest, the IDF and the Police in the area have repeatedly been trying to get as many Human Rights Workers (HRW’s) as possible out of Tel Rumeida, by arresting them on false accusations, trying to “negotiate” with Israel’s Ministry of Interior in order to get them deported, confiscating their cameras and deleting video evidence of settler and military criminal acts, issuing false Closed Military Zone Orders, and on two occasions trying to enter their apartment without a warrant.
There is evident fear from the Israeli authorities that people around the world will find out about their inability and unwillingness to protect the Palestinian population of Tel Rumeida. Palestinians in Tel Rumeida face daily acts of violence such as stone throwing, physical abuse, spitting and insulting from the violent settlers. Out of 120 documented settler attacks in the last few months, no measures whatsoever has been taken by the Kiryat Arba Police force, not a single arrest has been made, even when video evidence of the attacks has been handed over to the police by HRW’s in the area. Settlers are granted virtual unaccountability for their violent acts in this neighbourhood.
Andrew has been imprisoned for 7 weeks, one week of which in isolation, after refusing initial deportation. He has been held in the detention centres of Ramla and Tzohar. Throughout his imprisonment he has received various threats from his prison commander. Threats have varied from transferring him to a mental institution, drugging him, and to “play games with him”. He has also been subject to light torture; whilst in isolation he was deprived of his sleep when guards refused to turn off the lights at night. Furthermore, prison guards have repeatedly interfered with his visiting hours, sometimes cutting them short ahead of time, sometimes themselves sitting and wanting to take part in the conversations between Andrew and his visitors.
For more information and to get in touch with Andrew:
ISM Media Office +972 2 297 1824 www.palsolidarity.org
Tel Rumeida Project +972 54 557 3154 www.telrumeidaproject.org