Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh, who has taught at Yale and Duke Universities in the US, and is a renowned author and activist on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, has been issued an order by the Israeli military to appear before a military tribunal on August 9th.Qumsiyeh’s supporters believe that he is being targeted by Israeli authorities for his documentation of non-violent demonstrations against the Israeli Annexation Wall in the Bethlehem area. He has posted dozens of videos on Youtube in recent months, showing Israeli troops attacking non-violent demonstrators engaged in ‘sit-ins’ to protest the illegal construction of the Israeli Wall on their land, in violation of international law.
Professor Qumsiyeh has been targeted before for his outspoken opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, and his support for the non-violent movement in Palestine. He was recently detained for 12 hours by Israeli authorities on his way back to Bethlehem from Turkey, and told that he must report to the Israeli military post in Gush Etzion for an unknown ‘traffic offense’, as well as another ‘offense’ on which the Israeli authorities refused to elaborate.
Despite Israeli High Court rulings against the route of the annexation wall in Wallaja village, near Bethlehem, and Bil’in village, near Ramallah, construction of the Wall in both places continues unabated, and the people who have organized non-violent demonstrations and spoken publicly about the illegal construction have been targeted by the Israeli authorities. Organizer Eyad Bornat of Bil’in, and Mohammed al-Qatib with the Popular Committee Against the Wall were both recently denied exit from the West Bank by Israeli authorities while on their way to international speaking engagements about the Wall construction.
Qumsiyeh has called the ongoing harassment of himself and other activists a blatant attempt by Israeli authorities to stifle dissent, and to silence those who would dare to speak out publicly against Israeli policies in the West Bank.