Peacemakers threatened with deportation

An Israeli High Court Judge gave the Israeli government 7 days to respond to a petition to block the deportation of CPTer Greg Rollins (Surrey, BC), still in Israeli custody. However, shortly after 3:00pm Israeli time, Rollins phoned attorney Jonathan Kuttab saying he was told to get his things together for immediate departure to the airport. Kuttab contacted the Judge’s office to seek an immediate injunction against the deportation. According to Kuttab, the judge’s assistant viewed the government move as showing contempt for the judge, and said she would interrupt the judge in his meeting.

At 12noon (Chicago time) CPT received word from Kuttab that the Israeli government agreed to follow the judicial proceedings and honor the seven day period to review the case. Kuttab has not been able to contact Rollins directly and it is unclear whether he will have to remain in prison during this time.

At the time of his detention, Rollins was in H1, the Palestinian-controlled part of Hebron, observing Israeli soldiers at a check-point as they did a routine inspection of the identification of several Palestinian civilians. Israeli authorities have said variously that Rollins was “observing military actions without permission,” “interfering with a soldier doing his duty,” and “in a place where he was not allowed to be.” However no formal charges have yet been filed against Rollins.

Restrictions on Team:

CPTers called David Glass, Israeli military liaison for NGOs in Hebron, for clarification of the new military restrictions on international human rights monitors. According to Glass, team members are at all times prohibited from Palestinian-controlled H1, but are free to move about Israeli-controlled H2 even under curfew. Meanwhile, one team member was given conflicting information from an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint. When the team asked Glass for these instructions in writing, he said they should fax their request. Public fax machines are only available in H1.

CPT asks supporters to remain vigilant in prayer as we await further developments regarding Rollins’ deportation and some form of official clarification of restrictions on the team.

Related Links:

  • Christian Peacemaker Teams