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Harassment of peace activists continues

Israeli forces continue to put pressure on ISM activists through office raids and arrests.

On 9 May, Israeli forces raided the ISM media office in Beit Sahour, confiscating equipment and destroying the groups office space. The strong-arm operation was carried out by dozens of soldiers, border police and civilian police officers, who had surrounded the office with around 20 military vehicles.

Israeli forces also seized all the computers in the nearby office of the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement.
Three women were arrested during the raid and of them was likely to be deported.

On the same day, the British Guardian newspaper reported that the Israeli military had begun “obliging foreigners entering the Gaza Strip to sign waivers absolving the army from responsibility if it shoots them. Visitors must also declare that they are not peace activists.”

A few days earlier, three peace activists and two journalists had been arrested after trying to help a Palestinian man trapped in a car with his three small children. The Israeli army had confiscated the car keys and ordered the family to stay inside during a clash between the Israeli forces and Palestinians, effectively using them as human shields.

ISM activist Osama was beaten in the head, thrown on the floor and forced to cover his face with his T-shirt. He was taken, unconscious, to hospital after an epileptic fit caused by the beatings. The journalists were also beaten on the chest and neck.