Last updated: 14 July, 2012

Israel still holds 5 foreign women activists after West Bank demonstration

Israel was still holding five foreign women activists on Saturday who were arrested in the West Bank after a demonstration a day earlier, a police spokeswoman said.

“Five European activists arrested Friday during a demonstration in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) remain in detention,” Luba Samri told AFP.

“The five women are accused of causing disturbances during the event” in the Palestinian village of Nabi Saleh, she said, adding they will face a hearing later Saturday in a Jerusalem court for their eventual deportation to Sweden, Italy and Britain.

“Four others, including Israeli activist Jonathan Pollack, were also apprehended by border guards but later released Friday after a brief interrogation,” she said.

At the same time, she denied the arrest of American journalist Ben Ehrenreich of the New York Times magazine.

On Friday, an activist group said 12 people were detained by Israeli soldiers during the demonstration, including the five foreigners, Pollack and Ehrenreich.

Since 2009, Nabi Saleh has been the site of weekly demonstrations staged by Palestinian villagers, Israeli and international activists who oppose encroachment by a neighbouring Jewish settlement.