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Israelis detain former EU official at West Bank protest

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Luisa Morgantini was released after her identity became known
  • She is a former vice president of the European Parliament
  • She took part in a protest of the barrier that separates the West Bank from Israel

Jerusalem (CNN) -- The Israeli military detained former European Parliament Vice President Luisa Morgantini at a protest Friday, but she was immediately released after her identity was learned, the Israeli Defense Forces said.

Morgantini, an Italian citizen, was arrested during a demonstration in the West Bank town of Bil'in.

She was among roughly 200 demonstrators who were tear-gassed, according to a statement from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, an activist group involved with the protest.

Over the past five years, Bil'in has been home to weekly Friday protests opposing Israel's separation barrier, the 700-kilometer (400-mile) stretch of concrete wall and fence that separates Israel from the Palestinian West Bank.