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MPT Team Member Seriously Injured by Illegal Israeli Military Action

photo of Sandy immediately following her injury.


Izbet al-Tabib, Palestinian Authority (West Bank)

Released: Sunday, May 1st, 2011 at 19:30 EST (GMT -4:30)

Contact: Sheri Wander, Michigan Peace Team (USA Contact) 734-754-0648, or sheriwander.mpt@gmail.com.

On Sunday May 1st, 2011 in the village of Izbet al-Tabib in the Qalquiliya District of the Palestinian Authority, Michigan Peace Team (MPT) member Sandra C. Quintano suffered serious injuries after being physically assaulted by Israeli Military forces at a peaceful demonstration. The injury occurred at approximately 2:30pm local time, after Israeli military forces and bulldozers arrived at a demonstration site.

Ms. Quintano was standing with a group of 8 nonviolent peace activists on a roadway, gathered in an attempt to prevent violence by Israeli military, and prevent military and bulldozers from proceeding further into the area. The soldiers closest to the activists first approached a young man standing next to Ms. Quintano, and indicated he would be arrested if the group did not move. According to the Michigan Peace Team members present, several soldiers then closed in on this young man in a physically threatening manner. As had been previously agreed, the activists attempted to link arms to prevent one person from being singled out of the group as a target for violence.

It was as the soldiers made physical contact with the activists that Ms. Quintano says she felt herself being sent “flying through the air.” She describes that she felt she was “picked up and thrown out of the way” by Israeli soldiers. The nature of the assault is unclear; video footage of the incident and many additional eyewitness accounts are being reviewed at this time. MPT hopes to release more information as soon as possible.

Ms. Quintano suffered a gash to the head (see photo) and both of her wrists were broken. One of the wrist injuries appears to be particularly severe, according to her doctors. She was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital and is undergoing observation and testing to determine the full extent of her injuries. Ms. Quintano was admitted to the hospital and will stay at least overnight. She was accompanied by an MPT teammate. We will share more information on Ms Quintano's medical condition when it is made available.

Shortly before Ms. Quintano was injured, MPT Team members estimated that there were approximately 50 Israeli authority personnel present and more arriving all the time. These included military (Israeli Defense Forces) and special Border Police forces. The number of military and police present, as well as the number of activists is still being determined as MPT reviews video footage and eyewitness accounts. There are reports that at least three other nonviolent international activists were injured by military personnel and detained or arrested at the scene.

MPT Team members had been in the village since Friday, along with other local community organizers and international activists, to protest the construction of the separation wall through village land, the confiscation of agricultural and homestead land to build the wall, and to protest the scheduled demotion of 31 homes currently owned and occupied by Palestinian families.

Ms. Quintano is certainly not the first nonviolent peace activist injured by the Israeli military. Perhaps the most well-know incident is that of 23 year-old peacemaker, Rachel Corrie, who was killed while attempting to prevent an illegal home demolition. Her case is currently in the Israeli court system.

Michigan Peace Team (MPT) trains volunteers from all walks of life in nonviolent action and communication, and deploys peace teams to areas of conflict worldwide. MPT currently maintains a presence of rotating teams in the West Bank (Palestine), and has worked in the region for over 8 years.

For more information on MPT, see www.michiganpeaceteam.org and MPTinPalestine.blogspot.com.
Read about a previous MPT Team Member visit to the village of Izbet al-Tabib at: http://mptinpalestine.blogspot.com/2009/09/izbat-at-tabib-daily-harassment.html, or search “Tabib” or “Qalqilya” on MPTinPalestine.blogspot.com for more Peace Team reports about the village/region.

More information regarding the injuries and arrest/detainment of at least three other international activists at the same demonstration can be found on the International Solidarity Movement website: http://palsolidarity.org/2011/05/18071/

For further information contact:
Sheri Wander, Michigan Peace Team President (USA Contact) 734-754-0648 or SheriWander.MPT@gmail.com

Nicole Rohrkemper, MPT International Teams Coordinator (USA Contact) 734-754-0648 or NicoleR.MPT@gmail.com


Michigan Peace Team | 808 W. Barnes Ave. | Lansing, MI 48910 USA


palestine 2010.mpt said...

So sorry you were injured, Sandy! Sending Light and Love, Katy

Stella said...

Hi Sandy,

I remember speaking with you on the telephone last year, you have such a kind and gentle voice. You are very brave. Please get well soon, hope you are soon feeling better!

Peace with Justice,

Paula Marie