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UPDATE – Freedom for international activists!

30th October 2012 | International Solidarity Movement, West Bank

UPDATE: 2nd November 2012

Great news – Elyana and the other international activist have been released! Thank you so much to everyone who made a donation to make this possible.

The judge ruled that their detention and the attempted deportation was illegal which sets an excellent precedent we hope to carry in future cases. Israeli authorities must be shown that they do not have a license to deport activists with impunity. Elyana and the other activist are still fighting their case and will be called back to court in the coming days.

“Being inside I found myself wondering, “What does it really mean to be free?” Are we ever free, or do we just forget the inherent oppression of this culture when we don’t have the metal bars in our face to remind us? For the Palestinians perhaps it is not so easy to forget when there are reminders (if not literally behind bars) at every checkpoint, every military Jeep, every Israeli flag, every wall, every map that shows (or rather does not show) the disappearance of their beloved country. Now that I am on the outside I find myself wondering, “What will it take for Palestine to be free?” –Elyana Belle


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Previous reports on the 2 Internationals’ arrests:

A judge today gave a verdict that two international activists should not be deported, deeming illegal the decision by Israeli police to hand them over to immigration authorities despite the fact that another judge had ordered them to be released.

Elyana and the other activist will be freed on Thursday if we can raise the 10,000 shekel bail for them (€1984/£1600/$2570). As well as needing these funds urgently, there are also extensive legal fees to be paid for the two activists (around 14000 NIS/€2780/£2240/$3600). Because of this, once more we need your help with a donation. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated already, but this is a continual battle. The Israeli system of deporting activists without charge must be challenged legally if it is to end.

Palestinian demonstration organizer Bassem Tamimi, is not as lucky as the two international activists – he is not free and is facing a jail sentence of likely more than two years. It is hoped that the judge’s decision to free the two activists, who are from the US and Poland, will help in Bassem’s case as he is facing the same charges – a legal precendent for this occurred in Kufr Qaddoum recently.

Elyana has been threatened with solitary confinement during her time in immigration detention and has been mistreated physically and verbally by guards. She said today “I really see now the sharing of this struggle. This is a fight for all of us – Palestinian, Israeli, American, Italian, British, whatever. We are all fighting against this system of oppression.”

Please help us in this struggle with a donation today – www.palsolidarity.org/donate

In Solidarity, ISM Palestine