Israel arrests 2 foreign woman activists in West Bank raid

Palestinian and international activists say Israel has stepped up a campaign of arrests against protest organisers in the last two months.

Israel arrests 2 foreign woman activists in West Bank raid

Israel's military arrested two foreign woman activists in a pre-dawn raid in the occupied West Bank on Sunday, making an incursion into a Palestinian city.

Palestinian government spokesman Ghassan Khatib said the arrest of Spaniard Ariadna Jove Marti and Australian Bridgette Chappell in the city of Ramallah violated interim peace accords that gave Palestinians self-rule in parts of the West Bank.

Both in their 20s, the women were activists with the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM), established in 2001 to mobilise international support for Palestinian activism against Israeli occupation.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad last week urged Israel to end incursions in West Bank areas which according to arrangements established under the Oslo peace process fall under full Palestinian control.

Ryan Olander, an ISM activist who shared an apartment with the two women, said around 12 members of the Israeli security forces had arrested the pair in the early hours of the morning.

Palestinian and international activists say Israel has stepped up a campaign of arrests against protest organisers in the last two months.

The Israeli authorities deported a leading ISM activist last month, the organisation said. Eva Novakova, from the Czech Republic, had also been arrested in Ramallah.

Protesters stage weekly demonstrations in various Palestinian villages against Israel's construction of West Bank walls and fences that have denied them access to their land.

World Court has deemed Israel's wall illegal over its construction in occupied land.

Last Mod: 07 Şubat 2010, 16:06
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