Palestinian human rights defender and prominent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) leader Salah Khawaja‘s Israeli military court hearing was postponed once more on Sunday, 11 December, reported the Stop the Wall Campaign.

Khawaja is active with the Stop the Wall Campaign as well as serving on the secretariat of the BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest association of Palestinian civil society organizations leading the international BDS campaign. His home was raided in a violent night raid by Israeli occupation forces on 26 October. After this raid, he was held under interrogation for 20 days, subject to ill-treatment, beatings, threats and psychological mistreatment and lengthy interrogation sessions for hours at a time. He was denied access to a lawyer for two weeks.

He has since been transferred to Ofer prison and scheduled court hearings have been repeatedly continued. His next hearing will take place on Thursday, 15 December at 11 am at Ofer prison. The hearing on 11 December was attended by observers from the European Union, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and NOVACT. The EU has previously expressed concern about the situation of Salah Khawaja.

It is very important to encourage additional attendees from the diplomatic missions of your country as well as international organizations at the hearing on 15 December.

Take action!

1. Participate in the Front Line Defenders action, urging the Israeli state to immediately release Khawaja and end its persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders. Join in here:  https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/action/take-action-salah-khawaja

2. Demand your country’s officials speak up and end the silence and complicity in the detention of Salah Khawaja and other Palestinian human rights defenders, and over 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners. Call your foreign affairs officials – and members of parliament – and urge action on this case.

Call during your country’s regular office hours:

  • Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
  • Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion: +1-613-996-5789
  • European Union Commissioner Federica Mogherini: +32 (0) 2 29 53516
  • New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully: +64 4 439 8000
  • United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson: +44 20 7008 1500
  • United States President Barack Obama: 1-202-456-1111

Tell your government:

  1. Salah Khawaja, a Palestinian human rights defender, has been arbitrarily detained since 26 October. Salah is one of the primary Palestinian voices against the illegal settlements and wall destroying Palestinian land.
  2. Your government must demand Salah’s immediate release and an end to the persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders by the Israeli state.  It is very important that an observer attend the 15 December hearing at Ofer military court at 11:00 am.
  3. The government must do more than express concern, but should also take serious measures to end these violations, and suspend agreements with Israeli institutions involved in the ongoing imprisonment and oppression of Palestinians.