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2003-08-05

47 Activists Arrested While Protesting "Apartheid wall;" We Go to an Israeli Police Station to Hear From One of the Palestinian Activists Being Held

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The Bush Administration yesterday said it may reduce a 9 billion dollar aid package to Israel if the Israeli government continues construction of a wall cutting off Gaza and the West Bank.

Congress approved the loan guarantees this Spring, including 1 billion in military aid. According to The New York Times, administration officials say the possible change in policy comes in response to a campaign by Palestinian leaders who argue the wall will cut off Palestinians from homes, farms, jobs, and school. Aides to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon say the discussion with the Bush Administration about the barrier remains friendly. Secretary of State Colin Powell said today on the US government-owned Radio Sawa in the Middle East that the Administration is in "discussions with our Israeli friends" to make sure the barrier did not become a "hindrance" to the peace efforts — He made no mention of reducing assistance.

This morning, Israeli troops arrested 47 Israeli and international activists occupying a house in Mashah, near the town of Qalqiliya where the so-called security wall will run through a Palestinian family’s property. The Israeli military says it may deport the 41 International Solidarity Activists who were part of the protest.

Shortly before the show we talked to Seif Abu Keshek, coordinator for the International Solidarity Movement. He is a Palestinian who lives in a refugee camp near Nablus. He spoke to us from an Israeli police station were he is being detained along with the rest of the protesters arrested this morning. We asked him to explain what happened


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