Ofter Military Court sentences Abdallah Abu Rahmah to 16 months in prison
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Ofter Military Court sentences Abdallah Abu Rahmah to 16 months in prison

Today, the Israeli military court at Ofer sentenced Abdallah Abu Rahmah, the coordinator of the Popular Committee for Resisting the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in, to effectively 16 months in prison, in addition to a six month suspended sentence for a period of three years and a 5,000 NIS fine.

Abu Rahmah was charged with organizing and leading popular demonstrations, inciting to throw stones, participating in throwing stones at Occupation soldiers, and participating in demonstrations described as illegal and un-permitted by the pronouncement of the judge. He had been sentenced to a year in prison previously, and it was assumed that he would have been released on November 18, 2010. But building on the request of the military prosecutor, he was detained so as to increase his punishment because the village of Bil’in continued its weekly demonstrations. His punishment is meant to act as a deterrent for others that might follow in his footsteps, according to the claims of the military prosecutor, and end the spread of the popular resistance to the remaining areas damaged by the Wall and settlements in the West Bank.

The hearing occurred with the attendance of 24 diplomats and consuls along with Israeli and international peace activists led by Luisa Morgantini, the previous Vice President of the European Parliament. Among those in attendance were the French Consular General, diplomats from the European Union, Britain, Spain, Malta, Germany, Austria, along with Abdullah’s wife and his brother Rateb Abu Rahmah, who expressed their support for Abu Rahmah and the popular struggle of Bil’in against the building of the Wall.

After the ruling, Abdullah Abu Rahmah expressed that he did not recognize the court, as it is an Occupation court and an illegal, illegitimate kangaroo court, and that the ruling was a political ruling. He stressed that it was necessary to try the Occupation and its soldiers for their ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people, the latest of which was the killing of Jawaher Abu Rahmah during a peaceful march, the killing of the elderly Qawasimi in his bed, and the killing of al Muslumani and Masudi at the Hamra checkpoint in cold blood. This ruling will not dissuade him, or the people of Bil’in and all the popular resistance activists, from continuing on against the Wall and settlements.

The Popular Committee for Resisting the Wall and Settlements in Bil’in condemned the ruling against the coordinator of the Popular Committee, considering it unjust to the human rights activist defending his land stolen by the Occupation. They consider his struggle legitimate and legal against the illegal, illegitimate Wall, appealing to the international community and international rights organizations to stand beside Abdallah Abu Rahmah and demand his release.