A leader in the protest movement was sentenced by an Israeli court to two months in jail while facing another trial in the coming months.Abdallah Abu Rahmah was first detained in 2005 then put on trial and was finally sentenced on Wednesday. He will serve two months with a suspended six-month sentence.
He also faces another case against him with a wide variety of charges leveled against him. Charges including, ‘activity against the public order,’ ‘obstructing a soldier in the line of duty,’ and ‘incitement.’
Many have pointed out that these charges effectively point to him simply exercising his right to free speech and being punished by the occupation forces.
His act of ‘obstruction’ involved ‘shouting at a police officer and refusing to leave the scene of a demonstration,’ according to his supporters.
‘The military court threads a dangerous path of criminalizing legitimate protest in the West Bank. Abu Rahmah was arrested, prosecuted and sentenced with the clear intention of sending a message that the Palestinian struggle, even when of civic nature, will not be tolerated,’ said Abu Rahmah’s lawyer Gaby Lasky.
In response to Abu Rahmah’s sentencing, the spokesman for the Bil’in popular committee Mohammad Khatib said that Israel ‘is trying to intimidate us, to dissuade from fighting for our rights – but what other options do we have? Both the Wall and the settlements on our lands are built in contradiction of international law and even of Israeli law, but it is us that end up in jail.’