Toronto student arrested for protesting demolition of Palestinian village


JERUSALEM, Palestinian Territory — The mother of a Toronto university student says her daughter was one of three foreigners arrested Thursday morning by Israeli forces for protesting the demolition of a Palestinian-Bedouin village in the West Bank.

Karen Rodman says she and her 21-year-old daughter, Michaela Lavis, have been doing humanitarian work in the West Bank since late May.

Rodman says her daughter, who is about to enter her fourth year at Ryerson University’s Child and Youth Care program, has been volunteering with the Defence for Children International-Palestine and working with an occupational therapist who provides support to children with special needs.

In a telephone interview from East Jerusalem, Rodman says her daughter was involved in a stand in at the village of Khan al-Ahmar when Israeli forces arrested Lavis, as well as a U.S. and U.K. national.

Rodman says she has been in touch with a local lawyer for her daughter’s case and hoping she will be released by Friday.

The arrests come a day after Israeli police scuffled with activists protesting at the same site, arresting 11 people.

Israel says the structures that make up the Khan al-Ahmar encampment were illegally built and pose a threat to residents because of their proximity to a highway.

The Bedouin village outside the Kfar Adumim settlement is set to be demolished at an unknown date after Israel’s Supreme Court approved the move in May.

Israel agreed to resettle the residents in an area some 12 kilometres away.

— With files by The Associated Press

The Canadian Press