In solidarity

IssueNovember 2007
News by Polina Aksamentova

Three British women were arrested and jailed for over 30 hours in Al Masra'a al Qibliya on 26 October for attending an “illegal demonstration” against the seizure of Palestinian land.

Sarah Cobham, Caroline Bailey, Kate Harrison and seven other members of the Brighton-Tubas Friendship and Solidarity Group marched with some 40 villagers to the recently confiscated land to remove the grape vines that were planted by the villagers before it was seized.

Settlers and soldiers fired at the protestors with live ammunition despite the presence of children.

One armed settler chased the women, pushed them up against a wall, pointed a gun at them and threatened to kill them. Israeli soldiers did nothing to stop the assault.

The women were arrested and held in Romla prison near Tel Aviv, and released on condition they never return to the occupied territories.

Cobham, 42, said she was afraid for her life during the arrest and described the prison guards as “uncooperative and sadistic”.

She said: “During my time in Palestine I have seen the heartache on the faces of the families of many Palestinian ex-prisoners and the hollow looks in the eyes of those who have been incarcerated.

“Sitting in a prison cell, with no way of contacting the outside world, I began to grasp the enormity of what they had been telling me.”