Four Palestinian human rights defenders back in military court on Monday #alKhalil4

The four Palestinian human rights defenders and grassroots activists from al-Khalil, Badee Dwaik, Younes Arar, Anan Dana and Ishaq al-Khateeb, were brought before Ofer military court on Sunday, 2 April – and now face a new hearing with additional charges today, Monday 3 April. The four were seized by Israeli occupation forces on Thursday, 30 March as they participated in a Land Day protest with the #DismantleTheGhetto campaign against settlements in al-Khalil.

The four activists will be brought back before a military court today, Monday 3 April, with additional charges against them for organizing a peaceful demonstration. The Hebron Defense Committee reported that Arar and al-Khateeb were brought to Ofer military court from the detention center in Gush Etzion, while Dwaik and Dana were brought from the Ofer detention center.

The four are accused of participating in an illegal demonstration and being in a closed military zone, but the military prosecutor added additional charges of “interfering with security officers’ work” and “assaulting officers in the course of their duties.” The military prosecutor demanded five more days of interrogation about these new charges; however, the military court judge called for a new hearing at 1:30 pm on Monday, 3 April.

In addition, the four were told that after their interrogation period, they would require a bail of 7,000 NIS ($1926 USD) per person to be released, despite their lawyer’s objections that the families of the four activists do not have the funds.

The hearing was attended by the director of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, James Heenan. The four are being brought before an Israeli military court, with a notorious conviction rate of over 99 percent for Palestinians.

Take action!

1. Speak up about these four Palestinian human rights defenders. Use the hashtag #alKhalil4 on Facebook and Twitter to highlight their case!

2. Demand your country’s officials speak up and end the silence and complicity in the arrest and military trial of Badee Dwaik, Younes Arar, Anan Dana, Ishaq al-Khateeb and nearly 7,000 Palestinian political prisoners. Call your foreign affairs officials – and members of parliament – and urge action on this case.

Call your country’s officials urgently:

  • Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop: + 61 2 6277 7500
  • Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland: +1-613-992-5234
  • 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 Donald Trump: 1-202-456-1111

Tell your government:

1. Four Palestinian human rights defenders are facing an Israeli military court on Sunday, 2 April for participating in a peaceful protest against illegal settlements and colonization. These four activists – Badee Dwaik, Younes Arar, Ishaq al-Khateeb and Anan Dana – must be released immediately.

2. Governments around the world have condemned Israeli settlements, yet Palestinians are facing military courts for protesting against them. Your government must demand the immediate release of Badee Dwaik, Younes Arar, Anan Dana and Ishaq al-Khateeb.

3. The government must do more than express concern, both about the arrest of these four human rights defenders but about Israeli settlements and land confiscation that are targeting Palestinian existence. Representatives of your government should attend the Ofer military court on Sunday and take action by suspending agreements with Israeli institutions and the Israeli state, including trade, association and other agreements.

3Hold a direct action, protest, picket, banner drop or demonstration, including building the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign to internationally isolate Israel, its institutions, and the corporations – like HP-that profit from imprisonment, occupation, racism, colonialism and injustice. Demand freedom for these four human rights defenders and all Palestinian prisoners. Please email or post to Samidoun on Facebook about your events and actions.