BDS activist continues detention without charge

BDS activist continues detention without charge

On the 3rd of December the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network (Samidoun) reported that an Israeli military court has postponed a hearing on the detention of Saleh Khawaja, Secretary of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC) and a leader of the Palestinian grassroots anti-apartheid wall campaign, ‘Stop The Wall’. Khawaja has been recently moved to Ofer prison but was previously held at Petah Tikva interrogation centre where he was reportedly interrogated for up to fifteen hours at a time and has been beaten, kicked and subjected to sleep deprivation.  The Ofer military court has announced that the Israeli intelligence agency, Shin Bet, is considering filing an indictment against him which the court will consider in ten days.
 
Protester in Manara Square against Salah Khawaja's administrative detention

Protester in Manara Square in Ramallah, against Salah Khawaja’s administrative detention.

IWPS volunteers earlier attended a demonstration in the Palestinian city of Ramallah on Wednesday November 16, to protest against the imprisonment of Khawaja who has been in detention since Israeli forces snatched him from his home in Ramallah in the early hours of the 26th of October. His family awoke to find at least 20 Israeli military and security personnel in their home. Computers were seized and many items were destroyed.  Khawaja’s arrest is believed to be part of a general crackdown against Palestinian activists. In October Electronic Intifada reported that co-founder of the BDS movement; Omar Barghouti was denied the renewal of his travel permit amid calls from Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, for “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders.
 
On the November 9 the Israeli military court in Petah Tikva ordered that the interrogation period for Khawaja be extended for a further 8 days. A witness reported that Khawaja was kept blindfolded throughout the court hearing and appeared physically frail. Khawaja had been denied access to a lawyer who unsuccessfully petitioned to have the interrogation period reduced.
Doors broken in the early morning raid by Israeli Occupation Forces.

Doors broken in the early morning raid by Israeli Occupation Forces.

During the protest actions it was revealed that in the early hours of that morning Israeli forces entered Ramallah, raiding the offices of the Health Development Information and Policy institute (HDIP) where Khawaja works part time providing human rights training. During the incursion Israeli soldiers seized computer hard drives, security cameras and two servers.  The army also caused severe damage to the offices punching holes through walls, ripping down ceiling tiles, strewing files about and smashing two computers beyond repair. Staff members report that the loss of the servers will greatly hinder their work supporting health programs for women, children and the disabled across the occupied Palestinian territories. The work of HDIP also includes supporting field workers in the besieged Gaza strip via skype. This vital work is now on hold until the equipment and data can be replaced. 
Salah Khawaja's office turned upside down where he works part time; work unrelated to his BDS activities.

Salah Khawaja’s office turned upside down where he works part time; work unrelated to his BDS activities.

Salah's laptop smashed into pieces.

Salah’s laptop smashed into pieces.

Witnesses also reported that youth who came out to demonstrate against the raid of the HDIP office, when they heard the commotion, were hit with sound bombs, tear gas and rubber coated steel bullets. Two protesters were injured. Ramallah is located within ‘Area A’, under the Oslo agreement, meaning supposedly Israeli forces have no jurisdiction however this is frequently ignored.


The BDS movement is modelled after the successful campaign to end apartheid in South Africa and calls for the boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel until it complies with International Law and universal principals of Human Rights.  The campaign has been increasingly successful which has resulted in a crackdown against BDS activists with within Palestine and internationally. For more information and to get involved go to https://bdsmovement.net/