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Israeli Authorities temporarily suspend travel ban on BDS co-founder


The effective travel ban imposed by the Israeli government on the BDS Movement’s co-founder Omar Barghouti was temporarily suspended for two months during a court hearing at the Haifa District Court on 19 July 2016.

Barghouti has been under an effective travel ban since April 2016, ostensibly based on the claim by the state that the “center of his life is not in Israel.” Israeli ministers and official spokespeople, however, have explicitly mentioned Barghouti’s human rights activities in the BDS movement as the real motive behind the anti-democratic travel ban.

Given the failure of Israel’s Ministry of Interior to take the necessary legal steps that are required priortodeciding not to renew Barghouti’s travel document, Barghouti’s lawyer, Gila Barzili proposed in court that the Ministry should grant Barghouti at least a temporary renewal of his travel document until it has fulfilled these requirements. The state’s attorney accepted the proposal.

Examining all the evidence that was presented on Barghouti’s behalf — that proves that his “center of life” is in present-day Israel — and granting him a hearing are considered fundamental rights that he is entitled to before the state decides on any measure that violates his human rights.

The Haifa District Court determined that a re-examination of Barghouti’s application for the renewal of his travel document is to be conducted by the Ministry of Interior, and until then he is entitled to have his travel document renewed.

Around the same time, Omar Barghouti was announced as a winner — along with Ralph Nader — of the Gandhi Peace Award for 2016, presented by the US-based organization Promoting Enduring Peace. The Gandhi Peace Award has been presented since 1960 to people who have made “outstanding contributions to world peace, creating a sustainable ecology and  social justice.”

Speaking on behalf of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian society that is leading the global BDS movement, Mahmoud Nawajaa reacted to the Haifa court results saying:

“This temporary lifting of Israel’s travel ban on Omar Barghouti clearly reflects the impact of the worldwide condemnation of the ban and of Israel’s all-out legal, intelligence and propaganda war on the BDS movement.”

“By evoking the worst days of McCarthyism, Israel, just like the apartheid regime in South Africa had done, is alienating the liberal mainstream and inadvertently expanding the appeal of the BDS movement in it at unprecedented rates.”

“Israel’s war on BDS seems to be backfiring. It has triggered the long-sought recognition by European governments and leading international human rights organizations for the right to advocate and campaign for Palestinian rights through the boycott of Israel.”

Nawajaa concluded:

“But we should not relax. This is only a procedural delay in Israel’s still-ongoing process of punishing Omar for his defense of Palestinian human rights. We urge people of conscience around the world to intensify their efforts to counter Israel’s repressive war on the BDS movement, as only effective and sustained pressure can have a significant impact. We call on fellow BDS activists to continue their inspiring work of growing the movement in pursuit of Palestinian freedom, justice and equality.”

(Source / 02.08.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

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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