Campaign against peace activists in Israel - news from ekklesia on theology and politics from a christian perspective

Campaign against peace activists in Israel - news from ekklesia on theology and politics from a christian perspective

By staff writers
14 Apr 2003

Campaign against peace activists in Israel

-14/4/03

Fears are mounting that a campaign has been mounted against peace activists in Israel following the shooting of a British man at the weekend, as he tried to help a Palestinian woman and her children flee Israeli gunfire.

Tom Hurndall was shot as he moved towards the family in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. He was wearing a fluorescent orange vest, and witnesses say that there had been no exchange of fire between the Israeli army and Palestinian gunmen that day.

According to doctors at Rafah Hospital, he is believed to have suffered brain damage.

Alice Coy, 27, a peace activist from London, said that their group had been on their way to pitch a tent by a mosque.

They planned to try to prevent an Israeli tank repeating its nightly routine of taking position at the mosque and firing down the street.

Last month a US activist, Rachel Corrie, 23, was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer.

An Israeli army investigation into the death has now concluded that its forces were not to blame. It accused Corrie and other members of the International Solidarity Movement of "illegal, irresponsible and dangerous" behaviour.

She too was wearing an orange vest when she knelt in front of the vehicle, but it kept going.

Last week, Brian Avery, 24, another activist was shot in the face by Israeli soldiers in Jenin.

A spokesman for the International Solidarity Movement - the group which had trained Mr Hurndall in non-violent resistance - alleged that the Israeli army had embarked on a campaign against its activists.

"It now seems like it is open season on international peace activists," he said. "They just want us out so they can get on with their business without international observation."

The ISM has activists operating all over the West Bank and Gaza who come to the region from around the world to try to act as a buffer between the Israeli army and settlers and Palestinians.

Their activities range from protecting the olive harvest to escorting children to school. They often work with Israeli human rights groups.

Campaign against peace activists in Israel

-14/4/03

Fears are mounting that a campaign has been mounted against peace activists in Israel following the shooting of a British man at the weekend, as he tried to help a Palestinian woman and her children flee Israeli gunfire.

Tom Hurndall was shot as he moved towards the family in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. He was wearing a fluorescent orange vest, and witnesses say that there had been no exchange of fire between the Israeli army and Palestinian gunmen that day.

According to doctors at Rafah Hospital, he is believed to have suffered brain damage.

Alice Coy, 27, a peace activist from London, said that their group had been on their way to pitch a tent by a mosque.

They planned to try to prevent an Israeli tank repeating its nightly routine of taking position at the mosque and firing down the street.

Last month a US activist, Rachel Corrie, 23, was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer.

An Israeli army investigation into the death has now concluded that its forces were not to blame. It accused Corrie and other members of the International Solidarity Movement of "illegal, irresponsible and dangerous" behaviour.

She too was wearing an orange vest when she knelt in front of the vehicle, but it kept going.

Last week, Brian Avery, 24, another activist was shot in the face by Israeli soldiers in Jenin.

A spokesman for the International Solidarity Movement - the group which had trained Mr Hurndall in non-violent resistance - alleged that the Israeli army had embarked on a campaign against its activists.

"It now seems like it is open season on international peace activists," he said. "They just want us out so they can get on with their business without international observation."

The ISM has activists operating all over the West Bank and Gaza who come to the region from around the world to try to act as a buffer between the Israeli army and settlers and Palestinians.

Their activities range from protecting the olive harvest to escorting children to school. They often work with Israeli human rights groups.

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