Baroness Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, yesterday issued an unusually sharp rebuke to Israel over a military court's conviction of a Palestinian activist prominent in unarmed protests against the West Bank separation barrier.Lady Ashton said she was "deeply concerned" that Abdallah Abu Rahma was facing a possible jail sentence "to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to protest against the separation barriers in a non-violent manner". ...
He is in jail, awaiting sentencing next month. He was detained last December by troops who arrived at his Ramallah home at 2am in seven jeeps as part of what anti-barrier activists say has been an escalating wave of arrests of protesters in West Bank villages, angry about the barrier and settlements encroaching on Palestinian land.Pointing out that the European Union regarded the barrier as "illegal" where – as at Bil'in – it was built on Palestinian land, the EU's High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy said the EU considered Mr Abu Rahma, who works as a teacher at a private school, to be "a human rights defender committed to non-violent protest".
Donald Mcintyre, writing in today's Independent chronicles the arrest, trial and sentencing of Abu Rahma, leader of the anti-barrier protests that take place in Bil'in each week.
Read more of his report on how the Israeli authorities are vainly trying to suppress non-violent resistence to their illegal occupation of Palestine.