Israel Detains and Deports CPT Human Rights Worker and WCC Representatives

Here is some recent news in the growing list of deportations following detention and intimidation.  Sources (past EA) report that Itani was in Hebron with team 53 and then back on at least one other team.   He was back as an EA earlier in the year.

South African church activist, Itani Rasalanavho, was detained and then deported by Israeli authorities last week en route to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

On Thursday, May 5 Itani Rasalanavho was travelling to Palestine to join the Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT), an organisation conducting human rights work in various countries including in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. However, he was detained by Israeli authorities at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel-Aviv upon arrival, subjected to various strip searches, interrogations and ultimately deported back to South Africa.

One of the primary questions Rasalanavho was asked by Israeli authorities was whether he supported the non-violent boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel movement – to which he consistently answered “yes”. The other question that he was repeatedly asked was whether he thought Israel was an Apartheid state, to which he also answered in the positive.

Read more…

After traveling to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv in the last week for a climate justice meeting, World Council of Churches (WCC) staff and partners were detained or deported in a manner that WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit terms both unprecedented and intolerable.

“The WCC protests the excessive, unreasonable and wholly unwarranted treatment by the Israeli authorities of these representatives of WCC member churches and staff traveling to engage in discussions on climate change and environmental stewardship, at the invitation of and hosted by WCC’s member churches in the region,” he said.

Members of the WCC’s Working Group on Climate Change from as many as 13 countries reported they were held for hours of interrogation, including tough intimidation and detention in prison-like conditions for up to three days — a very difficult experience, Tveit said. “We react in different ways emotionally to experiences like this. For all of them, I think it was totally unexpected and very disturbing, for most of them shocking, as they have never experienced anything like this before.”

Read more…

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