The Israeli occupation authorities have prevented a South African activist from entering the occupied West Bank, Quds Press reported on Wednesday. Mpho Masemola was held for nine hours at the King Hussein Bridge between Jordan and occupied Palestine before he was sent back to Amman.
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Masemola is a human rights activist defending the rights of political prisoners, including Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. He is also the director of the Ex-Political Prisoners Association in South Africa.
A spokesman for the Palestinian Prisoners' Club said that Masemola was in his way to take part in the Third Prisoners' International Conference held in the occupied West Bank. "He was detained for nine hours and did not have food or drink or access to a telephone during that time," explained Abdullah Zagharai.
The EPPA official was a friend of the late South African freedom fighter, President Nelson Mandela, and is known for his support of the Palestinians. Once back in Jordan, he recorded his message for the conference and expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners and their suffering. He also called for international action to liberate them.
Earlier this week, the Israeli occupation authorities prevented well-known British activist and chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Hugh Lanning, from entering Israel and travelling to the occupied West Bank. He was detained at Ben Gurion Airport and deported back to the UK in less than 24 hours.