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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 August, 2004, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Israel to expel detained Briton
Ewa Jasiewicz
Ms Jasiewicz was on an assignment for Red Pepper magazine
An Israeli court has ordered the expulsion of a UK journalist who has been held in Tel Aviv since challenging Israel's refusal to grant her entry.

The Israelis say Ewa Jasiewicz, 26, is a political activist whose journalism is biased. They denied her entry at Ben Gurion Airport on 11 August.

The court said she could be exploited by militant groups as a result of her "naivety and convictions".

Ms Jasiewicz has denounced the ruling as "an insult to my professionalism".

Israeli authorities say Ms Jasiewicz is an activist with the International Solidarity Movement, a Palestinian led organisation which stages protests against the Israeli occupation.

I have been a journalist for five years and no one will manipulate me into any sort of agenda or violence
Ewa Jasiewicz

Tel Aviv District Court judge Drora Pilpel said Ms Jasiewicz did not pose a direct threat to Israeli security but Palestinians could manipulate her "naiveté".

The court said: "Although the International Solidarity Movement was established for a humanitarian cause, it has been exploited, whether consciously or unconsciously, for different and dangerous goals."

In a statement, Israel's ambassador to the UK, Zvi Heifetz, said: "Ms Jasiewicz was open enough to admit her involvement in ISM activities and not to argue that her press card should grant her automatic entrance to the country.

"The court verdict was based on evidence that she might be unconsciously exploited by terrorists, as has already happened with ISM activists."

But Ms Jasiewicz said: "I have been a journalist for five years and no one will manipulate me into any sort of agenda or violence."


On Friday the Israeli authorities had offered to free her on bail, saying that they had no case to hold her.

A friend paid the 30,000 Israeli shekels (£3,600) price.

Funeral of Baha Al-Bahesh
The funeral of Baha Al-Bahesh whose death Ms Jasiewicz witnessed

She was to be freed on condition she did not enter the occupied territories.

Once released Ms Jasiewicz was to appeal these conditions as she was due to go and report on living conditions in the occupied territories.

But then the Israeli state appealed against the court's decision to free her and she remained in detention.

Red Pepper magazine and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have called on UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw to protest in the strongest terms to the Israeli government at her detention.

In response, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said it was giving Ms Jasiewicz consular assistance, which included ensuring she had legal representation.


Her colleagues at Red Pepper suspect Ms Jasiewicz has been singled out because she witnessed and reported on the killing of a 13-year-old Palestinian boy, Baha al-Bahesh, by the Israeli Defence Force soldier in Nablus.

Her account of the death received considerable press coverage.

A spokesman for the Israeli prime minister told BBC News Online on Friday that the country had a right to determine who entered it.

"A country has a legitimate right to question the intentions of an individual on entering a country.

"The authorities will behave in accordance with the decision of the court," the spokesman added.

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