Leftist Jailed for 1 Month for Assaulting Police in West Bank

Ezra Nawi was convicted of assaulting police during the demolition of illegal Palestinian caravans.

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Wednesday sentenced left-wing activist Ezra Nawi to one month in prison, after convicting him of assaulting police officers during the 2007 evacuation of illegal Palestinian caravans in the southern Hebron Hills.

"Ideology is ideology, but this trial is not about ideology," said Judge Eilata Ziskind. "Wild behavior from the right or the left is inconceivable, even if the goal is to help the weak. Without order, there can be no democracy."

Justice Ziskind described repeated instances in which Nawi threatened police or prevented them from carrying out their activities.

Nawi will serve an additional six months if he participates in similar activities during the next three years, and he was also ordered to pay a fine of NIS 750,000 along with an additional NIS 500 to each officer he assaulted.

Nawi accused the court of authorizing the occupation of Palestinian land for years and said that the court has long been trying to neutralize and silence him. "The punishment doesn't scare me," Nawi said.

The Yesha Human Rights Organization criticized Nawi's one-month prison sentence, saying, "One month in jail emphasizes the selectivity of law enforcement officials in Judea and Samaria, which allow Nawi to run wild, to hurt settlers and their property," in a statement.

Nawi was convicted in March for assaulting policemen during the demolition of illegal Palestinian caravans in the southern Hebron Hills. Nawi, who has prior convictions for sexually assaulting a minor, illegal use of weapons and drug offenses, has been active for Palestinian rights in the southern Hebron Hills in recent years.

Nawi has in recent months received the support of prominent international leftists, including Professor Noam Chomsky, former deputy attorney general Yehudit Karp and author Naomi Klein.