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Israeli Military Court Sentences Palestinian Astrophysicist to 7 Months for Incitement

Imad Barghouthi will be released just one month after sentencing, as he has been in administrative detention since April, causing an international uproar.

An Israeli military court in Ofer sentenced Palestinian astrophysicist Prof. Imad Barghouthi to seven months in prison on Sunday and ordered that he pay a 2,000 shekel fine after he was convicted of incitement.
Barghouthi is expected to be released in November, as the court ruled that the calculation of his sentencing would begin from the day he was arrested and placed in administrative detention (detention without trial) in April.
Barghouthi, 54, is a resident of the village of Reit Rima near Ramallah and a lecturer at al-Quds University in East Jerusalem. He was first arrested on April 24 and placed in administrative detention for three months with Israeli security forces claiming that he was connected to a Hamas cell at the university and had participated in acts of incitement.
A military court of appeals seemed poised to order Barghouthi's release in May, and the Palestinian Prisoner's Club expressed confidence that they would secure his release. Just three days prior to his potential release date, however, Barghouthi was transferred to a Shin Bet facility where he was questioned and prosecutors announced that he would be indicted for incitement to violence on social media.
Jawad Boulos, the director of the legal department of the Palestinian Prisoner's Club, called the decision scandalous and said it indicated clearly that the authorities in Israel are using baseless claims to oppress the Palestinians. He noted that the military court had ruled that Barghouthi did not constitute a danger and ordered him released and that just days later evidence was presented sufficient to prosecute him.
Security officials confirmed that Barghouthi would be indicted and said that during his detention evidence of incitement accumulated and that the state was working hard to fight incitement to violence and terror.
Barghouthi's detention stirred sentiments around the globe, inspiring over 350 international academics to sign a petition demanding his release.
Signatories to the petition presented to the court included eminent researchers Freeman Dyson, Professor Emeritus of Physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton; Fields Medal laureate David Mumford, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Brown University; and Chandler Davis, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the University of Toronto. Notable pro-Palestinian scholar Noam Chomsky also signed the petition.

Jack Khoury
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.746767
Schermata 2016 10 10 alle 08.52.13

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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