INDEPENDENT NEWS

Two Peace Cyclists and Three Palestinians Detained

Published: Wed 20 Oct 2004 10:18 AM
Two Peace Cyclists and Three Palestinians Detained North of Nablus Held over eight hours;
Israeli Army DCO claims incident "doesn't exist"
Israeli Army "unofficial collective punishment" of Nablus and vicinity under seige
At approximately 7:45AM, Tuesday morning, Lina and Dave,two peace cyclists from Sweden and three Palestinians were stopped by the Israeli Army on the road to Zowata, a village North of Nablus.
The Israeli occupying forces took the identification cards from the three Palestinians and the passports from the two Swedes.
'Officially Unrecognized Collective Punishment'
Nablus has suffered under Israeli military siege for four years now. The residents of the town and surrounding villages have been unable to travel freely in and out of the area for work, education, medical services or business. Villages, such as the one where the five have been detained, have suffered economically due to the travel restrictions imposed by the Israeli army.
On a daily basis, Palestinians, and now internationals, often receive "unofficial punishment" by being detained while travelling. Their identification documents are confiscated by Israeli soldiers without any authority ever recognizing that this has taken place.
Legally a person can be held up to three hours. However, if the detention is not recognized by the District Coordinating Office, individuals can be held by the Israeli army without specific time limits.
During Ramadan, this form of collective punishment is especially destructive for detained Palestinians and their families.
At the time of this press release, the two cyclists and three Palestinians have been unable to leave for over eight hours.

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