Convicted Pro-Hamas Man Returns

A court last week sentenced pro-Hamas activist Ezra Nawi to 30 days in jail for assaulting police. On Saturday, he helped Arabs invade Jewish land.

Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, | updated: 21:38

Anarchists in action
Anarchists in action
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Pro-Hamas activist Ezra Nawi, sentenced two days ago to 30 days in jail for assaulting police, helped Arabs trespass on Jewish land at Mitzpeh Asael in the southern Hevron Hills on the Sabbath. His jail sentence has not yet begun, and he took the opportunity to carry out a threat he made after being convicted, when he vowed to return to help Arabs take over Jewish land.

Security forces arrived at the scene, several miles northeast of Be’er Sheva, declared the area a closed military zone and arrested eight pro-Arab activists, but Nawi was left untouched. He has long been a thorn in the side of Jews in Judea and Samaria and particularly in the southern Hevron Hills, where he has helped Arabs take over several acres of land farmed by Jews within eyesight of a separation barrier crossing.

Residents of Mitzpeh Asael filed a complaint with police against Nawi and others for trespassing on Saturday, and a second complaint against Nawi and a female activist for trespassing last week. The farmland which the Arabs and their supporters entered is land farmed by Jews which is legally defined as an agricultural area that is part of the Mitzpeh Asael community.

An additional complaint was filed against Nawi’s supporters, including Mahmoud Abu Karish, who previously have been accused of setting Mitzpeh Asael’s olive orchards on fire. The blaze came dangerously to the community’s homes, which consist of caravans (wheel-less mobile homes.)

The Jewish community tried to ward off the Arabs while protecting their homes, but the police arrested three Jewish men, and the court system ordered them away from the area for several months, leaving young mothers without any financial or social support. Volunteer activists have helped the families remain in their homes

Attorneys for the Human Rights in Judea and Samaria organization said they intend to ask the police to recommend that anarchists in the area be indicted.