Swedish MP Arrested During Fence Protest to Leave Israel

A member of Sweden's parliament, arrested as he took part in a protest against the construction of the West Bank security barrier, is to be freed Thursday evening and fly home, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry said.

Green Party lawmaker Gustav Fridolin, 20, was one of four foreigners arrested Wednesday during a scuffle with troops at Budrus, a West Bank village near the line with Israel southeast of Tel Aviv, where bulldozers are clearing ground for a section of a 750-kilometer (450-mile) barrier around the West Bank. All four were slated for deportation.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Tova Ellinson said Fridolin had waived the usual three-day grace period to allow deportees an opportunity to appeal and would leave Israel voluntarily on Thursday evening.

Fellow Swede Fredrik Batzler and Americans Katherine Rafael and Kimberly Gray remain in custody pending deportation, Ellinson said.

15 people injured in protest against W. Bank security fenceFifteen people were lightly wounded Thursday during a demonstration against the West Bank security fence, near Qafr Budrous north of Modi'in.

Most of the wounded are Palestinians, and two of the injured are foreign peace activists, who were hit by rubber-coated bullets.

The demonstrators were marching in the village to protest the wounding of Israeli protesters and Swedish member of parliament Gustav Fridolin a day earlier.

Israeli peace activists said that after the march ended, some of the protesters threw stones at Israel Defense Forces troops, who then fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at them.

The IDF imposed a curfew on the village and conducted house-to-house searches for the stone throwers. Five Palestinians were arrested in the operation.

Thursday marked the third consecutive day the peace activists were demonstrating against the construction of a portion of the separation fence north of Modi'in. The construction, which commenced a few days ago, involved uprooting the village's olive groves, and the fence is planned to surround the village from every direction.

Over the weekend Israeli Gil Na'amati, a member of the "Anarchists Against the Fence," was seriously wounded by gunshots from IDF soldiers during a protest against the fence near Elkana.