International Solidarity Movement
3rd May 2010
In the early hours of the morning on Saturday 1st May, the International Solidarity Movement’s Hebron apartment was broken into. Laptops, video cameras, photo memory cards and USB flash drives were stolen. Cash and credit cards that had been left in the apartment were not taken.
Similar items were taken by the Israeli military when they twice raided the ISM office in Ramallah in February of this year.
ISM activist Beatrice Smith says, “It seems likely that this was Shin Bet [the Israeli Intelligence Service]. Our neighbours have told us twice in the past week or so that soldiers have been coming up to our apartment when we’re out and they’ve been looking through the windows. If it was a normal robber, why would they have left cash and credit cards, but taken USB sticks and memory cards? This person wanted information, not money”.
Ms Smith’s argument is supported by a recent affidavit from Shin Bet to the Israeli High Court of Justice. In it, they admit that they have been keeping close surveillance on ISM activist Bridget Chappell, seemingly for the past several months.
Smith says, “It is clear from the surveillance and arrest of our activists, from the previous raids on our office in Ramallah, and now from the break-in here in Hebron that the Israeli authorities are determined to do all they can to stop us working here. They know that we’re non-violent, but they are scared because they don’t want the outside world to know what they are doing here. Anybody who comes here to bear witness to the occupation is a threat to them”.