A young South African student from the University of the Witwatersrand is being detained in Israel‚ according to the National Coalition for a Free Palestine (NC4P).
It said on Saturday that Laeeqa Sujee (21)‚ a physiotherapy student‚ was en route to Palestine for a Youth Camp hosted by the Palestinian Higher Council for Youth and Sport.
Laeeqah’s Sujee’s sister‚ Nabeela‚ wrote on FaceBook earlier on Saturday:
“My 21 year old sister Laeeqa is being detained by Israel. She was amongst 3 other South African students who were en route to a Youth Camp in occupied Palestine.
“She flew at 2pm on Friday 25/11/16 and landed in Tel Aviv at 2am (Israel controls all borders into Palestine). At 4am we were alerted that the 2 other South African students went through but Laeeqa did not. She was kept in interrogation room until 9am when we heard that she was forced to sign a deportation order.
“We have now heard she has been taken to immigration holding cells and will only return on Monday. She is alone‚ she doesn’t have her medicines‚ she does not have her bags or any way of contacting us. The SA embassy in Tel Aviv has done nothing to ensure her safety or even call us.
“My family and I are very concerned for Laeeqa.”
Condemning the detention‚ NC4P said another young activist‚ Altaaf Adam‚ belonging to the Palestinian Solidarity Alliance (PSA) and also en route for the same Palestinian Youth Camp‚ was detained on Thursday and thereafter deported by Israeli authorities.
“Israel is increasingly preventing South African activists‚ young people and in particular church members from traveling to Palestine‚” it charged.
Last week on November 16‚ Rosalia Mpele who was traveling as part of a World Council of Churches (WCC) programme was also denied entry and deported back to South Africa by the Israeli regime when she was en route to Bethlehem in occupied Palestine‚ the organisation said.
“Others‚ majority of whom are church members and activists‚ who have been denied entry to Palestine by Israeli authorities in the last two years alone include: Itani Rasanahlavho‚ Daniel Kemp‚ Khulekani Magwaza‚ Rosalia Mpele ‚ Sarah Robinson‚ Marthie Momberg.
“In the past Israel has also denied Archbishop Desmond Tutu‚ Higher Education Minister Dr Blade Nzimande‚ Minister Thulas Nxesi and various other high profile South Africans entry into Palestine.
“We demand that Israeli authorities immediately release Sujee and refrain from obstructing her from visiting occupied Palestine. We also demand that the South African Government immediately investigates the issue of South Africans‚ particularly church members‚ being denied entry to Palestine. A clear message must be sent by DIRCO that Israel’s behaviour of denying South African citizens entry into Occupied Palestine is unacceptable‚” NC4P stated.