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US State Dept.: You’re on Your Own

The US State Department has issued a travel warning for Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza that states that “those taking part in demonstrations, non-violent resistance, and “direct action,” are advised to cease such activity for their own safety.” They warn of the danger that peace workers face from Israeli soldiers and settlers just for working in “pro-Palestinian volunteer efforts”.

In the report they state, “In recent months, citizens of Western nations, including Americans, involved in pro-Palestinian volunteer efforts were assaulted and injured in the Occupied Territories by Israeli settlers and harassed by the IDF.” Fox News reported on their website, “This likely refers to a group known as the International Solidarity Movement, said political science professor Nathan Brown, a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.”

Along with ISM, the US State Dept. is referring to internationals from the Tel Rumeida Project, Christian Peace Maker Team, International Women’s Peace Service and other organizations who have been attacked and beaten by settlers in Hebron and shot at by soldiers in non-violent protest across the West Bank.

Huwaida Arraf, one of the founders of ISM, expressed her disappointment towards their response. “Instead of calling on Americans to stop engaging in nonviolent protests to Israel’s occupation and human rights violations, the state department should be calling on Israel to stop using violence against unarmed civilians (which include americans), especially since the Israeli military is using US taxpayer dollars to carry out these attacks.”