Gaza (QNN)- Israeli authorities on Monday detained five Finnish citizens, including the lawmaker Anna Kontula, for allegedly attempting to cross the fence separating the occupied land and the blockaded Gaza Strip, according to Finnish media.
The Israelis detained Kontula and four members of an international group of human rights activists, allegedly for trying to cross the fence in protest over the humanitarian crisis in the enclave, said the daily Haaretz.
“We expect those who visit Israel, and especially public servants, to respect Israeli law,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Kontula told “Helsingin Sanomat” that the objective of the five-person group was to call attention to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza by crossing the barrier separating the occupation state and Gaza.
A parliamentary assistant to Kontula said she was released after more than 10 hours in custody, according to Helsinki Times. Israeli authorities tried to pressure her into signing a statement admitting to the accusations made against her, such as obstructing an investigation and endangering public safety.
“Kontula refused to sign the statement, which she regarded as inaccurate,” according to a press release by Kontula’s parliamentary assistant.
The press release also stated that Kontula wanted to call attention to arms trade between Finland and the occupation state.
“Finland is supporting stakeholders that benefit from the continuing occupation and military activity by Israel. By acquiring weapons systems from Israel, Finland also gets to benefit from the development of weapons technology carried out in occupied areas,” said Kontula.
The arms trade, she added, also sends “the political message that there are no consequences for the over half-a-century-long occupation and serious infringements of international law by Israel”.