JERUSALEM - Israeli police arrested Jose Bove, French hero of the anti-globalisation movement, and several other people during a protest in the West Bank Wednesday, but later released them, a police spokesman said.
Bove had been demonstrating along with around 100 Palestinians, Israeli pacifists and Americans in the West Bank town of Al-Khader, outside of Bethlehem, to denounce Jewish settlements in the area.
Jose Bove, bottom right, a 47-year-old sheep farmer and activist from France, participates in a joint Israeli, French and Palestinian demonstration as Israeli police look on in the southern West Bank village of el-Khader Wednesday June 20, 2001. Bove, who became a folk hero for ransacking a McDonald's restaurant that sprang up near his sheep farm in France, was later arrested along with at least seven others during the demonstration against the expansion of the nearby Jewish settlement of Efrat and theclosure of a Palestinian road. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
He and two other Frenchmen, an American and four Israelis were arrested and all later released, a police spokesman said.
"We took the decision even though they refused to sign a document in which they would have committed themselves not to enter again into a closed military zone," the spokesman said.
The eight could eventually be charged, he added.
The demonstrators shouted "no to violence" and carried banners that read "Settlers leave here." Two other members of his delegation and an Israeli were arrested, the delegate told AFP in Jerusalem.
Bove started a four-day visit to the Palestinian territories on Monday with a delegation of 11 human rights, union and political activists, notably from his own Peasant Confederation, a radical farmers' syndicate.
A group of international protesters, amoung them French anti-globalization activist Jose Bove (4th L) walk in a "pacifists walk" in the West Bank town of Al-Khader June 20, 2001. The French civil right group Droits Devant said that Bove, two other French activists and around 10 Israelis were arrested during the protest. The posters read "No more Apartheid, Settlers out" and "Stop the Occupation". REUTERS/Ahikam Seri
The Peasant Confederation, founded in 1987, champions the cause of small producers against the interests of big business and agricultural barons.
Popular French singer Francis Cabrel has described Bove as "one of the last courageous, natural, honest voices left in a world where the rest are tarnished by compromise."
He is currently appealing a three-month prison sentence against him for sacking a McDonald's in southern France in August 1999.
Copyright 2001 AFP