Israeli Left-wing Activist to Be Charged With Breaking Oslo Accord for Informing on Palestinian Land Sales

Ezra Nawi is charged for violating clause prohibiting Israeli citizens from cooperating with PA security ■ Investigation opened after footage of Nawi bragging about handing over Palestinians who sold land to Jewish settlers to PA was exposed

Ezra Nawi in a Jerusalem court, 2016
אוליבייה פיטוסי

Israel informed left-wing activist Ezra Nawi Thursday it will indict him for assisting the Palestinian Authority against a Palestinian land broker who attempted to sell West Bank lands to Jewish settlers in the southern Hebron hills.

Nawi was notified he will be indicted on the grounds of violating one clause of the Oslo Accords enactment law. The clause prohibits Israeli citizens from working for or with Palestinian security forces.

The investigation was launched following a report on the Israeli show "Uvda" which showed materials obtained by a right-wing activist who infiltrated the Israeli-Palestinian group Taayush and documented Nawi.

In the footage, Nawi, who is unaware of being recorded, is heard telling of four Palestinian landowners who contacted him, thinking he was also involved in the land trade.

"I give their photos and their phone numbers immediately to the [Palestinian] Preventive Security Force," Nawi says in the recording. "The Authority catches them and kills them. But before they kill them they beat them up."

After the report was aired, Nawi was arrested along with left-wing activist Guy Butavia, and a Palestinian activist named Nasser Nawaja. Another Palestinian resident of the southern Hebron hills, whose name was not disclosed, was interrogated.

Recently, Ad Kan, the right-wing organization which infiltrated Taayush, filed an appeal to the Supreme Court to expedite the decision on indicting Nawi and his associates.

The state was supposed to issue its response to the Hight Court of Justice on Wednesday. On Thursday, the four received notice from the State's Prosecutor regarding their case. The cases against Butavia and Nawaja were closed, and the case against the second Palestinian was archived.

The State's Prosecutor made a rare use of the clause which it used to indict Nawi. As far as known, only one indictment was filed for violating the aforementioned clause. It was against an East Jerusalem Palestinian resident who served in the Palestinian security forces. No such indictment was ever charged against a Jewish citizen.

A statement released by Nawi's legal team admonished the indictment, saying the decision to indict Nawi "on a ludicrous, far-flung clause in the rule book - for which an Israeli citizen has never been tried - is another step in the moral corruption of the State's Prosecutor, and its devotion to a populist settler agenda which holds no common ground with law enforcement."  

"We have no doubt in Ezra's full innocence and that the court will achieve a similar conclusion. We're glad for the opportunity to reveal before the court the depth of the rot and political pressures which went into the investigation's considerations by the Police and State's Prosecutor," said the statement.