Stewartry woman detained in Israel

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A CASTLE Douglas woman who was arrested in Tel Aviv after revealing she and her group intended to join events in the West Bank.

Joy Cherkaoui, a member of the Southwest Scottish branch of the Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, was en route to Bethlehem to take up an invitation to visit farmers and families there with a group of other Brits on Tuesday.

Rather than conceal their intention to travel to the West Bank, as is standard practice for anyone who has travelled there before, the group pledged to be open and honest about their intentions - which resulted in their arrest.

Twelve Brits were “roughly” arrested and claim they were kept in cells for three days without food.

A spokeswoman from the Southwest SPSC said: “We believe that the reaction by Israeli officials to a plan by European and other internationals to visit Bethlehem has exposed Israel’s ‘West Bank blockade.

“Joy was part of a group of UK nationals arrested and detained in Israel for simply telling the truth at Israeli passport control. She was imprisoned for three days without food. We at Southwest SPSC strongly oppose the inhumane treatment of a member of our branch who was merely a visitor to Palestine causing no trouble but has been treated like a criminal.”

Joy was due to fly back to the UK along with the others at the end of this week.