Friday, April 27, 2007

Israeli military exstremists protect settler fanatics, arrest peace activists

Phone: (517) 484 3178 Fax: (517) 484-4219 Email: Website: Fr. C. Peter Dougherty cell: 517-303 0116 For Immediate Release:


James Coady, a member of the Michigan Peace Team (MPT), was briefly detained by the Israeli military Wednesday April 25 in the West Bank city of Hebron.

Coady, along with MPT member Karen Donahue and other internationals, had been observing and intervening as Israeli soldiers held up Palestinians who were walking near the Ibrahim Mosque, and had also intervened as Israeli settlers were throwing stones at Palestinians while the Israeli military stood by and watched, doing nothing. Coady and Donahue used a video camera to document this behavior of the settlers and the soldiers.

In response to this international intervention, the soldiers later in the morning stopped every international human rights worker and wrote down their passport numbers. When they did come to Coady, who for awhile had evaded the soldiers, they called to him and said they needed to "check him." When he asked if he was being arrested, they said "we just want to talk to you." They drove away with him in a military vehicle. As the internationals and a Palestinian-led human rights organization were trying to find out where Coady was taken and were deciding if an urgent action appeal was needed, Coady soon returned to the internationals' apartment, having been released. "Just another wonderful day in a police state. It is all such madness," quipped Donahue.

Two other MPT members, Martha Larsen and Loretta Johnston, are staying in the Jordan Valley with a Bedouin family to help prevent the demolition of their home by the Israeli military. MPT, which now has a continual team presence in the West Bank, works with Israelis, Palestinians, and other internationals to reduce violence in the Occupied Territories and create space for those in the conflict to work for a just resolution of the conflict. 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 teams 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.

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