Israeli occupation forces, on Thursday, detained five Finnish citizens, including a member of parliament, for allegedly attempting to cross the fence separating the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories and the blockaded Gaza Strip.

According to Israeli media sources, the Israeli forces detained Anna Kontula, a Finnish MP, and four other humanitarian activists, for trying to cross the fence in protest at the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

For its part, the High National Committee for the Great March of Return and Breaking the Siege in Gaza condemned the detentions and expressed solidarity with the detainees.

Israeli forces also confiscated the Finnish detainees’ passports and cell phones and interrogated them in preparation for their deportation to their country by force.

The High National Committee called for protecting the activists from Israeli harassment and asked human rights organizations around the world to make similar steps against Israel’s racist policies, especially the unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli occupation, in 2006, imposed a tight blockade on the Gaza Strip, closing all crossings connecting the enclave with the outside world through Egypt or the Palestinian territories occupied since 1948. The crossings are only opened partially in certain times and for limited periods for the entry of goods and passengers.

~ Palestinian Info Center/Days of Palestine