Ezra Nawi, Israeli human-rights activist in the South Hebron area, and a close friend of the Villages Group, was scheduled to be sentenced July 1. His “crime” was trying to stop home demolitions at Umm Al-Kheir in 2007 (see also here for more recent demolitions). He was falsely charged with “assaulting a police officer”. As the video taken during the event clearly shows (scroll down the page to see it), there was an overwhelming military and police force in the place, and all Ezra did was classic, universally accepted non-violent resistance.
The judge in the Jerusalem “Peace Court” (lowest-level local court) convicted him based on police testimony, and scheduled the sentencing to July 1. Inadvertently, she revealed her bias and prejudice by ordering in writing that a translator for Ezra be present at the sentencing, because he speaks only Arabic! Now Ezra does speak fluent Arabic and his family hails from Iraq, but having been born in Jerusalem and living a mainstream Jewish-Israeli life ever since then, he is at least as comfortable in Hebrew.
Anyway, on Wednesday dozens of friends showed up to support Ezra at the court, but the court ran behind schedule (quite usual in Israel), and the sentencing was postponed to August 16, 8:30 AM (h/t Ibn Ezra blog for the image).
The same evening, Ezra and friends were already treated to a Hafla party at Susya in the South Hebron Hills.
We hope that the international support for Ezra continues to grow, and with it the awareness to the oppression and injustice suffered by the rural population of South Hebron Hills and other regions in the West Bank, as well as to these residents’ amazing resilience.