| 4.7°C Belfast

Britons held in Israel flying home

Close

Two Britons are expected to fly back to the UK after they were detained in Israel while trying to visit the West Bank

Two Britons are expected to fly back to the UK after they were detained in Israel while trying to visit the West Bank

Two Britons are expected to fly back to the UK after they were detained in Israel while trying to visit the West Bank

Two Britons are expected to fly back to the UK after they were detained in Israel while trying to visit the West Bank town of Bethlehem, according to campaigners.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, which was co-ordinating the British arm of the visit, said its chairman Mick Napier, 64, a university teacher, was amongst 12 people, including four Scots, arrested at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport on Friday.

The flight also included five English and three Welsh people.

It was claimed that some of the group had started a hunger strike after information on charges against them was not provided and they were denied a phone call.

The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign said Mr Napier and 83-year-old John Lynes, a retired university lecturer from East Sussex, were due to fly back to Luton Airport after being deported.

Around 700 people from around the world had intended to visit Bethlehem on the invitation of families there.

In a statement released by the campaign group, Mr Napier was quoted while waiting for the flight to leave Tel Aviv.

He said: "Some of the men and women being detained started a hunger strike this morning because we were denied any information about any charges against us and were also denied a telephone call over the entire period we were in prison.

"But we are all in high spirits. Israel's hysterical response to this peaceful initiative has highlighted the harsh siege of the occupied West Bank which Israel enforces and many governments wilfully ignore, even to the extent of abandoning their own citizens to Israeli lawlessness."

The other Scots were Frank Thomas, 66, a retired statistician from Edinburgh; Ian Stewart-Hargreaves, who lives on the Isle of Lewis; and Joy Cherkaoui, a community worker from Dumfries and Galloway.

PA


Privacy