Third Human Rights Activist Arrested in Less than a Week

Judea and Samaria District of the Israeli police in the Palestinian occupied territories on Wednesday arrested a third human rights activist as part of an ongoing investigation that saw the arrest of a well-known activist at Ben-Gurion Airport last week. Though the case remains under a gag order, B’Tselem on Wednesday said in a statement that one of their field workers was arrested in the morning by occupation soldiers during a raid in the village of Susiya: Nasser Nawaja. They added that they were informed by detectives that the police had secured a court order banning the activist from meeting with an attorney for the time being.

An armed settler accosts a Palestinian shepherd and Ta'ayush activists near the village of Sussiya

An armed settler accosts a Palestinian shepherd and Ta’ayush activists near the village of Sussiya (Photo: Activestills)

Until now, gag orders have been issued for each of the cases in which a human rights activist has been arrested. According to foreign sources, the three detainees are Ezra Nawi and Guy Batavia from Ta’ayush and Nasser Nawaja from B’Tselem.

Hadash MK Dov Khenin (Joint List) commented on the arrests on Wednesday saying: “Again they are using emergency decrees to prevent suspects from meeting with their attorneys. At the same time, we are learning about about extreme right-wing groups funded by the public coffers which are hounding left-wing activists and hiring private investigators to follow them.” Khenin accused the right-wing “of trying to find a new, internal enemy who can replace the Iran threat.” Hadash MK Yousef Jabareen, also of the Joint List, called the arrests “part of a campaign meant to silence Israeli activists who are struggling against the injustices of the occupation in Area C.”

On Tuesday, Haaretz reported that a pro-settlement organization, Regavim, which receives government funding had paid a private investigator to dig up dirt on prominent human rights attorney Michael Sfard and the NGOs he works with.