International Solidarity Movement
19th April 2010
At approximately 11.30pm on the 18th April, a British ISM activist, Robin Brown, was arrested in Sheikh Jarrah having been falsely accused by Israeli settlers of attacking them with tear gas. Those present in the hours leading up to his arrest insist this cannot possibly be true. Brown was released from police custody at 3am on the 19th – recognition from the police that there was absolutely no evidence to support the settlers’ accusations.
Earlier in the evening, settlers had attempted to destroy a mural that was recently painted in the front garden of the Al Kurd home, half of which is occupied by settlers. Running past the wall, they threw cupfuls of white paint at the mural before fleeing down the street. Despite their later claims to police, there was no confrontation in the street between them and the Palestinian residents of the neighbourhood, or the international activists who were also present.
The previous night, Israeli settlers attacked local residents in the street, pepper spraying two of them. As the police say that, when called to the area on the night of the 18th, a settler did show signs of having been gassed, it seems possible that this was inflicted upon him by a fellow settler, still in possession of the pepper spray used the night before. The police who arrested and interrogated Brown found no traces of any kind of gas or spray on his hands, clothes or bag, proof that, if any gas was used, it did not come from him.
Brown says, “It is clear that settlers have decided to try to find ways to get rid of the international activists who sit in solidarity with Sheikh Jarrah residents, and who document the violence and harassment that is inflicted upon them by the settlers. Settlers frequently make up lies in an attempt to get Palestinians arrested. It’s no surprise that they’re now doing the same to internationals”.