Leftist arrested for 'crossing line marked on floor'

Machsom Watch organization claims one of its activists was arrested at Hawara checkpoint after crossing 'white line' marked by soldiers. Police: Activist was detained for preventing a public servant from doing his job

A Machsom Watch activist was arrested at a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus after crossing a white line marked by soldiers, according to the human rights organization.


Another activist who witnessed the incident claimed that the commander of the Hawara checkpoint allowed the woman to stand at that point, from where she quietly overlooked the area without causing a provocation.


Police officers dispatched to the checkpoint told the activist, Yifat Doron, that the checkpoint commander had complained she was getting in the way and must therefore accompany them for questioning at the Ariel police station.


After the woman was questioned, the police agreed to release her if she promised not to arrive at the checkpoint for 15 days. Doron, however, refused to do so and was arrested. She spent the night at the Neve Tirza Prison for Women.


On Friday, the police are expected to ask the court to extend the woman's remand, and Machsom Watch members plan to arrive at the hearing and protest "the illegal behavior" towards them at checkpoints.

Two marked lines at Hawara checkpoint (Photo: Machsom Watch) 


Dafna Banai, a Machsom Watch activist who witnessed the incident on Thursday, said, "For the past six months, despite remarks made by senior army officials, the soldiers systematically move us away from the checkpoints.


"At the Hawara checkpoint they just drew a white line in an arbitrary manner and demanded that we don't cross it. Later, they drew another line, more distant, and demanded that we do not cross it as well.


"Yesterday, when I arrived at the checkpoint, Yifat was already there, standing between the two lines… She told me that the checkpoint commander told her she could stand there, but shortly afterward the police arrived there to arrest here. They didn’t even warn her."


According to Banai, the police detained Doron at the checkpoint, saying that the soldiers claimed she was disturbing them. Later, Banai said, the police obtained evidence from the checkpoint commander and asked Doron to drive with them to Ariel, where she told them that she had not done anything illegal.

Activist arrested by police (Photo: Machsom Watch)


"This arrest was part of the consistent harassment we are experiencing," Banai said. "It appears that they don’t want us to see what is going on at the checkpoints so that they can do what they want there."


Machsom Watch members said on Friday that "the 'white line' is aimed at distancing the activity and means that inspite of our presence at the checkpoints, we cannot carry out our job as a human rights organization seeking to guarantee the freedom of movement of the territories' residents."


The organization's activists are expected to arrive at the court hearing on Friday carrying protest signs reading, "What does the IDF have to hide at the checkpoints?".


The Judea and Samaria District Police said in response that "Ms Yifat Doron was detained for preventing a public servant from doing his job. The police wanted to release her under restrictions, but she refused to sign any condition presented to her, and will therefore be brought before a judge who will decide on her matter."


פרסום ראשון: 07.27.07, 11:10
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