Hardy caught in conflict

Comic filming in West Bank

Jeremy Hardy has been caught up in the Arab-Israeli clashes in Bethlehem.

The comedian has told how several Britons acted as human shields, putting themselves into the line of fire in the West Bank town, which has been invaded by Israeli tanks.

Hardy, who is in the region to film a documentary, is stuck in a closed military zone on the edge of town.

He said: "We're trapped in the hotel for the foreseeable future."

Hardy, 40, described how more than 100 peace campaigners from the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity movement went to the Dheisheh camp to protect Palestinians from Israeli troops.

He said: "Various people from the peace group went to the camp last night to protect the families, to act as a human shield, feeling that the soldiers might be less brutal if they knew there was an international presence.

"Several Britons are among those who have gone to the camp. We're quite worried about their safety."

He added that two British negotiators were hit by shrapnel in the nearby town of Beit Jala. Israeli troops opened fire on the ground in front of them as they approached.

He said: "It was very frightening, it was very depressing as well. There were people running around covered in blood."

Assuming he makes it back to Britain, Hardu is headlining a charity gig on April 16 in aid of the Refuseniks - Israeli troops who refuse to serve in the occupied territories.

The gig, at London's Red Rose Club, also features Omid Djalili, Arnold Brown, Andre Vincent, Dave Cohen, Mark Maier and Ivor Dembina as compere.

Tickets, priced £10, are available from 020 7281 3051.

Published: 3 Apr 2002

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