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Monday, June 20, 2011

Israel sentences another "Palestinian Gandhi" to year in prison

Ma’an -- The Ofer Israeli military court sentenced popular protest coordinator Naji At-Tamimi to one year of imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 shekels ($2,914), his colleagues said.

Naji and Basem At-Tamimi were taken by Israeli forces from their homes in April and held without charge.

Naji was charged with inciting and participating in rallies and organizing demonstrations against Israeli land confiscation and settlement building. Israel has declared such demonstrations illegal.

In a statement released shortly after the sentencing was handed down, the Popular Struggle Committee in Nabi Saleh, where Naji is from, said it rejected Israel's characterization of the protests as illegal, and said it considered the sentencing of Tamimi for his role in the protests as a "violation of the law," noting it prevented Palestinians from defending their property.

The committee questioned the "international silence" on the issue, recalling European Union expressions of concern over the jailing of Bil'in activist Abdallah Abu Rahma, and condemnation from the international rights group Amnesty International.

The sentencing, the statement said, "will not curb us from our mission," and demanded the release of the organizer.

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