British activist arrested at gunpoint while protesting at the fence bordering the Gaza Strip

Rio Brennan, in the centre, along with other activists link arms as a sign of solidarity
Rio Brennan, in the centre, along with other activists link arms as a sign of solidarity
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A British activist has claimed she was arrested at gunpoint while protesting at the fence bordering the Gaza Strip in Israel.

Rio Brennan, from Lea, Preston, was caught by a group of soldiers who threw her to the floor, guns pointing, before she was interrogated and threatened with deportation.

Rio, 23, had waved a Palestinian flag along with other Israeli activists at the border on Friday, August 3.

She said: “Myself and another British person, a Norwegian and eight Israelis went to the fence to peacefully and non-violently protest against the siege and blockade of Gaza.

“We wanted to show solidarity with the victims on the other side of the fence and read out stories of people who have been killed by snipers for peacefully protesting.

“As we arrived around 20 soldiers were there. I began running and a soldier started chasing me. He tried to hit me with his rifle but dropped it so I kept running.

“A group of soldiers dragged me to the floor and grabbed my belongings and tied my hands behind my back and arrested me. They dragged me to the army tent and threw me on the floor and surrounded me with their guns pointing.

“Two other Israelis were brought next to me blindfolded and we were held and refused our belongings. We were held by police.”

After being interrogated by Israeli border forces, Rio was released on a 15-day ban from Gaza. She is now returning to the UK.

Conflict

Israel and Palestine are currently locked in a toxic ongoing conflict over numerous issues including mutual recognition, borders, security, water rights, control of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, Palestinian freedom of movement and Palestinian right of return. Violence has been used on both sides.

The United Nations has referred to the struggle as the world’s “most intractable conflict” in UN history.

Violence flared earlier this year when US president Donald Trump moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.