Palestinian activist convicted by Israeli military court
JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli military court on Wednesday found a prominent Palestinian activist guilty on six charges related to his participation in demonstrations in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron against Jewish settlements and alleged human rights violations.
Issa Amro was convicted on three counts of protesting without a permit, two counts of obstructing security forces and one count of assault. The charges date back to 2010, according to a statement put out by his supporters, which said sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 8.
It was not clear what kind of sentence he might receive. The Israeli military and Amro’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Amro is a well-known activist who has been detained multiple times, often after confrontations with settlers in which he says he was attacked and beaten. The Palestinian Authority detained him for a week in 2017 over a Facebook post critical of President Mahmoud Abbas.
Hundreds of hard-line Jewish settlers live in the heart of Hebron in enclaves guarded by Israeli troops. The city has a population of over 200,000 Palestinians, and there is a long history of tensions between the two communities.
Amro’s supporters say the charges are linked to his participation in various peaceful protests over the years. They said the assault charge stems from a previously closed case in 2010 in which Amro allegedly shoved someone during a scuffle in which he said he was assaulted.
Amnesty International said in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s hearing that Amro faces “politically motivated charges for his peaceful activism against Israel’s military occupation and illegal settlements.”
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war, and the Palestinians want it to form the main part of a future state. The Palestinians view the presence of nearly a half million Jewish settlers in the West Bank as a violation of international law and an obstacle to peace.