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Scottish Rabbis volunteer threatened with deportation during olive harvest


Theresa McDermont, a volunteer from Scotland who came to pick olives with Palestinian farmers and Israeli rabbis today sits in an Israeli detention cell, awaiting deportation. She is not being charged with any crime.

Theresa, a post office worker, has been detained since the 31st of October. She will have a court hearing on the 13th of November and her attorney is Gabi Laski. She came to the country to join Israeli group Rabbis for Human Rights. The group of rabbis and other Israeli and international volunteers are invited by Palestinian farmers to help pick olives during this year’s harvest. Palestinian olive pickers have been facing violence from Israeli settlers and harassment from Israeli soldiers.

On the 8th of November, another olive harvest volunteer with Rabbis was released from Israeli detention. Sam Grafton, a twenty-six year old theatre director from Britain had been picking olives with a Palestinian family in a Nablus village. The Israeli colony of Yitshar had been built near the the family’s olive groves. Israeli border police ordered Sam out of the area and arrested him. The next day, they brought him before a judge who released Sam on conditions that restrict his movement within the Palestinian areas.

Theresa was put into detention on her way into the country and is unlikely to get off so easily.

For more information:
Attorney Gabi Lasky: 054 441 8988
Arik Asherman, Rabbis for Human Rights: 050 560 7034 or 02 648 2757