Israel Releases Palestinian BDS Activist After Two-week Detention

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Palestinians with posters depicting Mahmoud Nawajaa, protest in Ramallah, August 11, 2020.
Palestinians with posters depicting Mahmoud Nawajaa, protest in Ramallah, August 11, 2020.Credit: Nasser Nasser,AP

The Palestinian-led boycott movement against Israel said Monday that a campaign organizer has been released without charge by Israel after more than two weeks in detention.

The BDS campaign said Mahmoud Nawajaa was on his way back to the West Bank.

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“They cannot break us because they cannot crush an idea or counter our strategy, despite all the financial, intelligence, political, diplomatic and propaganda resources they’ve invested,” Nawajaa said in a statement.

Israel's Shin Bet security agency said Nawajaa was arrested on July 30 on suspicion of unspecified “security offenses.” It said the suspicions were not connected to his boycott activities. The Shin Bet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

His wife, Ruba Nawajaa, said more than 20 soldiers with dogs raided their house after midnight to arrest her husband, frightening their three children.

The BDS campaign advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel to protest what it says is Israel's oppression of the Palestinians. Israel says the BDS movement’s nonviolent message masks a deeper agenda that aims to delegitimize and even destroy the country.

Last week, dozens of Palestinians protested in the West Bank city of Ramallah calling for Nawajaa's release. The global human rights group Amnesty International also had called on Israel to “immediately and unconditionally” free him.

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