Israel escalates its restrictions on pro-Palestinian activists.

Israel escalates its restrictions on pro-Palestinian activists.

Jason Koutsoukis, an Australian correspondent for the Age newspaper, said that Israel escalated its restrictions on foreign activists of pro-Palestinian groups because of their role in exposing its violations against human rights.

Koutsoukis explained that last Sunday Israeli troops arrested Australian activist Bridget Chappell at gunpoint after a raid on her apartment at dawn.

He added that an Israeli officer at first said she was arrested for security reasons, but later after knowing that her tourist visa expired, he turned her in to immigration officials.

The journalist pointed out that the Israeli occupation authorities also deported last January a Czech activist called Eva Navakova after her arrest in Ramallah.

Chappell and a Spanish activist named Jove Marti were taken to the Givon prison from where they were told they would soon be deported, but lawyers acting for Chappell and other two activists filed an urgent petition with the Israeli high court to extend their visas.

In court, the Israeli prosecution admitted that Chappell and Marti posed a security threat because of their role in inciting protests against Israel.

In a separate incident, Palestinian eyewitnesses reported Friday that dozens of citizens suffered suffocation as they inhaled tear gas during Israeli troops’ attack on their peaceful march organized in the villages of Nabi Saleh and Deir Nezam located northwest of Ramallah.

They added that the troops fired tear gas at the Palestinian protesters who were defending their agricultural land that armed Israeli settlers were trying to seize.

The villagers were able to, despite the density of the gas, reach their lands and prepare them for cultivation, while the Israeli troops embarked on chasing and attacking the protesters.