Michigan Peace Team Headquarters is located in Lansing, Michigan (USA)
The Peace Team in the field is headquarted in the Nablus Region of the Palestinian Authority
Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 7:00pm EST
MPT PEACE TEAM MEMBER ASSAULTED BY ISRAELI AUTHORITIES, ARRESTED, FACING DEPORTATION
Ramallah, Palestinian Authority
Just before noon local time on October 24th, 2012 Michigan Peace Team (MPT) member "Katrina" [full name redacted for security reasons] was choked by the neck and then bodily dragged behind a line of military vehicles by Israeli border police in the Binyamin region of Palestinian Authority, outside the Rami Levy Market near an illegal Israeli settlement. According to two witnesses, Katrina (a Polish citizen) was "choked with excessive force around the neck, before being dragged off by two border police."
After being detained on site, she was taken to an unknown hospital; MPT is awaiting information regarding her medical condition at this time. She was held overnight at an unknown facility in Jerusalem on October 24th; she has been detained for the remaining period to the present, including the night of October 25th, 2012 at Ramle Prision, to the best of Michigan Peace Team's information. She has now been held for well over 36 hours. MPT Team Members, staff, and lawyers in the West Bank have been attempting to contact Katrina to assure her safety, medical condition, and advise her on her rights and the legal process. According to attorneys and volunteers working to assist her, she has not been allowed adequate contact with her lawyers.
A witness standing at approximately five meters distance described the following:
"Two border police grabbed Katrina and took her just behind a gate. One put his right arm around her throat, as he stood behind her. He squeezed very tightly and her face began to turn red immediately. At this point I was on the other side of the gate about 5 meters away. Her expression was complete terror, she appeared to be unable to breathe. I started yelling at the police to let her go, but was ignored. After choking her, they began dragging her across pavement, then grass, and then pavement again. In all they dragged her about 25 meters."
The MPT Peace Team was attending a nonviolent demonstration of boycott against Israeli goods at Rami Levy grocery store near an illegal Israeli settlement in the autonomous Palestinian Authority. The action yesterday was organized by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC)http://www.popularstruggle.org to highlight the BDS campaign (www.bdsmovement.net ), which calls for a boycott of Israeli goods. Witnesses and international news reports state that demonstrators remained nonviolent as police and soldiers fired sound bombs and punched, kicked, choked and otherwise assaulted internationals and Palestinians.
It is believed that the impetus for Katrina's detainment was her attempt to assist Palestinian activist Basim Tamimi as he was assaulted and forcibly taken to a military vehicle by several Israeli border police. MPT Team Members witnessed Tamimi being punched, kicked and otherwise assaulted by Israeli police while demonstrating nonviolently. It has been reported that during the assault upon Tamimi, several of his ribs were broken. According to the International Solidarity Movement, Tamimi is the head of the popular committee of Nabi Saleh, a village that has suffered drastically from the creation and expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank. Tamimi was released from prison in April of this year after spending 13 months in an Israeli prison for being accused of “taking part in illegal gatherings.”
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 to work with local people to reduce violence and deaths in high-tension situations. Over the past 20 years, MPT has deployed hundreds of Peace Team volunteers in response to requests from dozens of locations all over the world, including Bosnia, Iraq, Chiapas (Mexico), Juarez (Mexico), Algonquin Territories in Canada, and Haiti. MPT has continued to maintain a long-term presence of rotating teams in the West Bank (Palestine), and also regularly deploys Domestic Peace Teams throughout the United States.
All of MPT's Peace Teams are funded by donations from the general public. People wishing to take action to support this Peace Team may do so by making a donation via our website.
(Please note that it is the goal of MPT that information on this blog by our Peace Team members be presented in the most professional, factual way possible; however, the views or opinions expressed are those of the writer(s) only and do not necessarily reflect the view of MPT as an organization.)
MICHIGAN PEACE TEAM (MPT) SENDS TEAM OF FOUR TO THE WEST BANK
Citizens of the West Bank report that the presence of MPT members is effective in decreasing violence in the region.
West Bank; April 8, 2008: A four member team of the Michigan Peace Team, ages ranging from 26 - 69, has arrived in the Occupied West Bank. The team will be working with Palestinians, Israelis and other Internationals to promote nonviolent conflict resolution. MPT’s violence reduction team is prepared to engage in a variety of nonviolent methods to de-escalate potentially volatile situations. Team members accompany Palestinian children to school and shepherds to their fields (both of which are in danger of being attacked by extremist Israeli settlers), and act as international observers at military checkpoints. Additionally, they join with other Israelis, Palestinians and other Internationals in demonstrating against the Separation wall Israel is constructing on Palestinian land. On March 13, 2008, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the Islamic Summit in Dakar and relayed that violence against unarmed Palestinian citizens continues to escalate. He said that Israel’s disproportionate and excessive use of force against the Palestinians has led to a large number of civilian casualties, including children. "Israel has to comply with the law and international legality and show restraint. We condemn the Israeli attacks on Palestinian peoples," he said. Michigan Peace Team was founded in 1993. It provides trainings in active nonviolence designed for the specific needs of the participants, and deploys peace teams into places of conflict (both domestically and internationally) to reduce violence. MPT convenes, supports, and participates with local peace action groups and gatherings, and mentors individuals seeking experience with international tams in places of conflict. It also educates the public to the vision and practice of active nonviolence. MPT has deployed peace teams into areas of potential violence around the world. XXX
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