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I won't give up Israel hunger strike - Josie.

Byline: Richard Warburton Education Correspondent

A Birmingham University research fellow has vowed to oppose her deportation and remain on hunger strike in an Israeli prison for a month until she has a full hearing.

Josie Sandercock managed to phone family and friends in Birmingham yesterday despite being allowed out of her cell for only one hour a day.

She told Dr Amanda Burls, the university's head of research, that she felt reasonably healthy although her treatment was 'appalling'.

Ms Sandercock, aged 32, confirmed she was detained along with seven non-British activists by Israeli authorities last Sunday while taking part in a peace protest in a Palestinian refugee camp in Nablus.

All eight protesters went on hunger strike after the Israeli government issued deportation orders against them.

Dr Burls told The Birmingham Post that her friend was determined to oppose the deportation to highlight the conditions at Nablus.

'Josie managed to phone despite having phone cards confiscated and only being allowed out of her cell for an hour a day,' she said.

'She said she was only taking water and salt tablets and is being kept in appalling conditions, but also said she was determined to remain on hunger strike despite a hearing being between three and four weeks away.

'She said prison officers are punishing them for their beliefs and the eight on hunger strike are more determined than ever to make their point.'

Dr Burls added that Ms Sandercock described her health as 'reasonably fit'.

Meanwhile, Israeli tanks entered Jenin in the West Bank yesterday after patrolling the outskirts of Bethlehem before daybreak.

About 20 tanks rolled into Jenin, the witnesses said. Soldiers declared a curfew and confined residents to their homes. The Israeli military called the operation a 'routine patrol'.

A teenage suicide bomber who blew up an Israeli bus, killing 17 passengers and injuring dozens, with an explosives-laden car on Wednesday set out on his mission from Jenin.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jun 8, 2002
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