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Tuesday, 2 April, 2002, 06:05 GMT 07:05 UK
Israel holds veteran French activist
Jose Bove argues with Israeli soldiers
Bove is one of the world's best-known activists
French anti-globalisation activist Jose Bove faces deportation from Israel after making a dramatic show of solidarity with Yasser Arafat.

The radical farmers' leader had joined pacifists and foreign pro-Palestinian activists in visiting the besieged Palestinian leader in Ramallah on Sunday.

We saw 300 people kneeling down and blindfolded, waiting to be interrogated in the cold and the night

Jose Bove

Five foreign activists were injured on Monday during a demonstration against Israel's military presence near Jerusalem.

As the Israeli army tightens the ring around Palestinian leaders, it has ordered activists to keep out of its way.

Three French activists arrested along with Mr Bove arrived back in Paris on Monday evening after being expelled from Israel.

Mr Bove himself was being held with French colleagues at a detention centre at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport and, according to one report, is due to be put on a Turkish Airlines flight on Tuesday.

'Unbearable to behold'

The veteran campaigner, who has backed political causes as far away as Mexico, said he had seen some "unbearable" sights in recent days, especially at a detention centre for Palestinians where he was held briefly .

"There we saw hundreds of men sitting on the ground, under canvas and behind barbed wire, surveyed by watchtowers," he said.

"We saw 300 people kneeling down and blindfolded, waiting to be interrogated in the cold and the night. It was unbearable to behold."

Palestinian medic treats British protester James Budd after the Beit Jala clash
Israeli tanks were in the area after a mortar attack on a nearby Jewish settlement
On Monday, a crowd of 100 foreign, mainly European, protesters confronted Israeli tanks at Beit Jala, near Bethlehem.

Eyewitnesses said that an Israeli machine-gunner fired a burst at the ground as they approached the armour and five activists were injured along with a Palestinian cameraman.

None were seriously injured although one British woman received a live bullet in her abdomen.

Comedian Jeremy Hardy joined pacifists in Israel
"We are surrounded and there is firing"
See also:

02 Apr 02 | Middle East
Israeli tanks move into Bethlehem
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