In the course of a meeting with the Women’s Coalition for Peace, the participants of the ‘Leaders for Change’ program became aware of the detention of two minor Palestinian girls, Salwa and Sara from Bethlehem. Group members immediately connected to the issue and joined the Coalition’s campaign.
They wrote a petition denouncing the use of administrative detention as a tool to politically oppress the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, arguing that it disrespected basic civil rights, and demanded that the two girls be released. They put up stands next to high schools and community centers in Jaffa and Tel Aviv and distributed info leaflets to youth, asking that they sign the petition. The petition was also sent on the net, mostly targeting youth. After having gathered over 1,000 signatures, they presented the petition to the PM, the Defense Minister, the Minister of Justice and the President (and also to the two girls in prison).
Moreover, the participants took part in events and discussions on the subject of political prisoners and attended a meeting with a former prisoner who spoke of his experience in Israeli prisons. One member of the commune also visited, together with other Israeli activists, the girls’ families, which was a very emotional meeting.
Salwa and Sara were arrested from their homes in Bethlehem on June the 5th, 2008. They were finally released on January the 1st, 2009.
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