Activists cycle to West Bank city
Published 30/07/2011 | 13:42
A group of UK activists has arrived in the West Bank after cycling 7,000km from London to support Palestinian and Israeli popular resistance movements.
The trip by the bicycle convoy, named "PEDAL - 100 days to Palestine", was organised after nine people were killed when Israeli commandos stormed a Gaza aid boat in May last year.
On Friday the convoy, which has crossed 18 countries, met the Bil'in popular committee in the West Bank and took part in a demonstration.
The group said the protest, which has been taking place for over six years, is regularly met with a violent response by the Israeli army and said tear gas and sound grenades were used, while live ammunition was fired overhead.
Jen Peachey from PEDAL said: "We have seen governments around the world actively colluding with Israel's illegal occupation and blockade of Gaza - whether it's through US military aid, UK diplomatic silence or Greek coast guards blocking the Flotilla.
"Where states fail ordinary people will stand up. This is why we have come to Palestine."
Abdullah Abu Rahma, from the Bil'in popular committee, said: "By Palestinians, Israelis and internationals standing in solidarity and taking grassroots action- we can end Israel's illegal occupation."
The group is due to meet with Palestinian farmers next week.
Their arrival in the West Bank came as Britons were yesterday urged not to join an aid flotilla planning to deliver supplies to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said UK nationals should avoid the convoy of boats after last year's attack.