Palestinians appeal for release of Western activists kidnapp




 
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Palestinians appeal for release of Western activists kidnapp
 
December 1st, 2005  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: Palestinians appeal for release of Western activists kidnapp


Palestinians appeal for release of Western activists kidnapp
By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH - Associated Press Writer
RAMALLAH, West Bank - (AP) Palestinians led by their top Muslim
cleric appealed to Iraqi insurgents Wednesday to release four Western peace
activists, saying three of them had spent time in the West Bank aiding the
Palestinians.
The four workers for the group Christian Peacemaking Teams _ an
American, a Briton and two Canadians _ were shown in a video released
Tuesday by insurgents in Iraq.
While in the West Bank, American Tom Fox and the two Canadians
demonstrated against the construction of Israel's separation barrier in the
West Bank, helped Palestinian children to get through Israeli army
checkpoints and pitched in with the olive harvest, Palestinians across the
West Bank said Wednesday.
"We demand that these aid workers be released immediately," said
Mufti Ikrema Sabri, the Palestinians' top Muslim clergyman. "We tell them
that these aid workers have stood beside Palestinian people and it's our
duty now to stand beside them."
Sabri said Islam opposes taking civilians hostage and said such
kidnappings are "inhumane."
Palestinians in several towns said they had worked with the three
activists and asked Sabri to issue the appeal. Hundreds of international
activists have aided the Palestinians in largely nonviolent demonstrations
during the more than five years of fighting with Israel.
"They subjected themselves to grave dangers when they stood in front
of Israeli bulldozers," said the mayor of the West Bank village of Jayyus,
Shawkat Samha. "We knew them as people who were against occupation and
supported freedom for occupied peoples, like the Palestinian and Iraqi
peoples."
Samha said he had met Fox and recognized him in the video that was
shown on the Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera.
Fared Tomallah from the West Bank village of Salfit said he cried
when he recognized captive Canadian Harmeet Sooden on television.
"I saw him many times suffering through tear gas with the
Palestinians when demonstrating against the wall," Tomallah said, referring
to the separation barrier. "We appeal to Iraqi insurgents to release him and
we assure them that these people have nothing to do with the occupation."
The local branch of Christian Peacemaking Teams in the West Bank
city of Hebron said that one of the captives, James Loney from Toronto,
Canada, had helped Palestinian children get through Israeli army roadblocks
in the divided city. Loney was slated to return to Hebron next week to
continue his work, said Rich Meyer, an activist with the group.
"The kidnapping prevents him from coming here to work," Meyer said.
The group's Toronto branch released a picture of Fox sitting with
children.