Holy Land: crackdown on Christian peace campaigners

 Israeli forces in the Holy Land have begun enforcing a strict clampdown on the activities of the Christian Peacemakers in the country. The international group, some of whom are over 60, have been staging peaceful protests in front of wells and olive groves threatened with destruction as well as escorting children to school. Early last Tuesday morning, eight Israeli Defence Force soldiers entered the Christian Peacemaker Team's apartment in Hebron, looked at their passports and visas, and told them they were not allowed to go near an Israeli settlement. They were also advised not to accompany children to school and told if they went into many areas they would be arrested. The soldiers also photographed several of the campaigners and the apartment, and searched their belongings. This was the second search of the apartment in two days. Another campaigner, Canadian Greg Rollins from Surrey, BC, is currently being held in an Israeli prison in Tel Aviv threatened with deportation. Rollins' attorney, Jonathan Kuttab, is seeking an injunction from the Israeli High Court to block deportation. Rollins was arrested on Sunday while he and fellow campaigner Chris Brown from San Francisco were observing the arrest and detention of several Palestinian men by Israeli soldiers. Current team members come from England, Canada and the USA. In recent weeks three campaigners have been shot dead by Israeli forces. A number have been injured or manhandled. The teams have asked supporters to pray for peace in the Holy Land. Christian Peacemaker Teams is a program of Brethren, Quaker and Mennonite Churches which has the support of all the main churches.

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