We succeeded to get foodstuffs and ‘international protection’ into the Church of the Nativity. If you haven’t yet seen the reports, please see below.
The 13 of us that were detained after the action have just been released for a few hours, I think. We were 8 guys and 5 ladies. After over 7 hours of being detained and questioned by the Israeli military, we were finally hand-cuffed and escorted out of Bethlehem. At the Bethlehem checkpoint, the guys and girls were divided. The five ladies were pushed into the floor of a police jeep and our legs were bound. The Israeli police officers drove around for a while then stopped and pulled one girl out - Ida Fasten, from Sweden, cut her loose and left her, in the middle of we don’t know where, by herself. We were horrified! They had taken all of our phones and identification, and it was 2am. When I protested leaving a foreign woman out in the middle of unfamiliar territory in the middle of the night, with no phone and no ID, I was physically assaulted — slapped hard in the face by one of the officers. Both officers in the jeep refused to give us their names and badge numbers, despite repeated requests.
When we realized that the officers were going to leave each one of us in a different place, the four of us left in the jeep agreed on a meeting place. Four of us are now safe in a hotel in Jerusalem, but we still don’t know where Ida is. We don’t know what happened to the guys. Again, none of us have our phones. We were told to report to a certain location, 24 Hillel, at 9am - in 4 hours. I pray Ida is there and that the guys are also safe.
We don’t know whether we face arrest or deportation; what we do know is that the presence of the international civilians now inside the Church of the Nativity is probably a lifesaver. We brought in food and are offering international presence as protection for the civilians inside the church from the indiscriminate shooting of the Israeli Army. We are international civilians upholding international law. Please contact your governments and ask them to do the same.