The activists I met in the West Bank earlier this year came from Japan, the UK, South Africa, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, the USA and Norway. They were wonderful people, giving up their summer holidays and paying their own way to take part in a just, humanitarian struggle.
Not all of the young volunteers who have come to Palestine over the years have returned home. Rachel Corrie, run down by an army bulldozer while protesting house demolitions in Gaza and Tom Hurndall, shot in the head by an IDF sniper while escorting young children to safety, also in Gaza, never went home. Both members of the International Solidarity Movement, they became martyrs in the struggle for Palestinian human rights.
So far this year 420 Palestinians (including 80 children) have been killed by Israeli forces. Amnesty International (UK) in a recent report describes a situation where Israeli military forces kill civilians in Gaza with "near-total impunity, week in week out". This is state sanctioned murder.
To read the full report go to: http://palestinechronicle.com.