Israel has extended the detention of a West Bank peace activist, who Palestinians claim is being imprisoned solely for his advocacy of international boycotts against Israel.Mohammad Othman, a 33 year old resident of the West Bank village of Jayyous, is currently imprisoned in Israel under ‘administrative detention’, which means that he has not been charged with any crime.
Israel routinely imprisons Palestinians without charges for periods of six months at a time. At the end of the six months, a military court decides whether to extend the imprisonment for another six months or to release the detainee.
Holding people without charges is a violation of international law, but Israel has never been charged in the International Court of Justice.
Mohammed Othman had a court hearing late last week, and his administrative detention was extended without charges.
Israeli officials gave no comment on the case.
But Palestinian peace activists claim that Othman is being targeted because he has been the most outspoken boycott of an international consumer boycott against Israel.
The boycott movement is an attempt to pressure the Israeli government to end its occupation of Palestinian land. The movement draws its inspiration from the anti-apartheid boycotts against South Africa in the 1980s.
Othman’s lawyer said that his client is being held in solitary confinement and interrogated for five to ten hours a day.