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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Good news from Tel Aviv/San Jose de Apartado

CSN is grateful to all who wrote letters of support

Today, on Tuesday, October 16th, six days after their detention upon entering Israel, the Columbian participants of the GRACE-Pilgrimage, namely Arley Tuberquia and Marta Irene Basquez, both representatives of the Peace Village San José de Apartado - and as such nominees for he Peace Nobel Price – have finally been released from detention at the airport of Tel Aviv today. Our lawyer was able to secure an out-of-court agreement with the authorities after guaranteeing that the young Columbians are not seeking illegal employment and will leave the country at the end of the pilgrimage. To support this guarantee, we had to bring by the incredible sum of 100.000 shekel (approx. EUR 20.000) in addition to the costs of the lawyer which are amounting to approx. EUR3000. The intricate difficulties imposed on peace workers from majority world countries, to prevent them from getting connected to peace networks, are increasing, however, in this case they were overcome!

We thank all of those who, with their faxes, calls and inquiries, have contributed to this successful outcome and helped that the Columbians were not deported and still today can be welcomed by us. It is especially important to have them with us both as inhabitants of a peace village that offers non-violent resistance in the midst of a civil war and as participants of a peace pilgrimage and a vision quest for the developments of a Pace Research Village in the Middle East.

We wish to take this opportunity to express our regrets to those who, due to our first reporting, have erroneously been led to the conclusion that the two Columbians were suspected of terrorism. This was not the case. We had received wrong information in the first place. In truth no reasons were given in the first place. Generally travellers from majority world countries to Israel are detained to been suspected of wanting to contact terrorist groups or to wanting to work in the country illegally. We ask pardon for all misunderstanding that might have occurred.

In the meantime, after four days of walking, the group of pilgrims has arrived at Kibbuz Samar.

The GRACE Organisation team
 News from the Pilgrimage: www.grace-pilgrimage.com <http://www.grace-pilgrimage.com>

Institute for Global Peace Work -IGP-



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