Israeli authorities extended the detention of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activist Mahmoud Nawajaa for eight more days over the weekend, reported Wafa news agency.
General coordinator of the Palestinian National BDS Committee Mahmoud Nawajaa, 33, was arrested from his home last month in the occupied West Bank village of Abu Qash near Ramallah at around 3am, his wife Ruba Alayan said.
Despite Amnesty International’s call for his immediate and unconditional release following his detention being extended the first time round last week, Nawajaa remains imprisoned at the Al-Jalameh interrogation centre near Haifa without charge.
Since his arrest, Nawajaa has not been allowed to exercise his right to see his lawyer, appointed by rights group Addameer.
The Amnesty statement called for pressure on Israel to release him, saying that Israel has interpreted the international community’s failure “to take concrete action” to pressure it “as a green light” to pursue its illegal policies, including the persecution of Palestinian human rights defenders.
In a statement issued last week, it said: “Israeli authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Palestinian human rights defender Mahmoud Nawajaa, 34, the General Coordinator of the BDS in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He has been detained solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association and is therefore a prisoner of conscience.”
Established in 2005, the BDS movement seeks to apply financial pressure on Israel to address its violation of Palestinians’ rights, a tactic the Israeli government has actively sought to discredit.
Over the years, Israeli authorities have increased efforts to fight BDS, passing a number of laws seeking to criminalise calls for a boycott of Israel or Israeli companies.
Stephanie Adam, a coordinator at the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, said: “This further extension of the illegal detention of Mahmoud by Israel’s military court system, which is notorious for its near 100% conviction rate of Palestinians, proves once more that only sustained international pressure, coupled with internal popular struggle, can help Palestinians achieve liberation from Israel’s apartheid and colonial system.”