An indictment was issued Sunday against left-wing activist Ezra Nawi for conveying information regarding Palestinians involved in selling land to Jews to the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces on multiple occasions.
Nawi was arrested in 2016 upon returning from abroad and accused of several charges including attempted murder, contact with a foreign agent and conspiracy to commit a crime. However, those charges were absent from the indictment issued against him at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court Sunday.
Nawi is charged with an offense under section 7a (b) of the Implementation of the Oslo Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which prohibits Israeli citizens or residents from enlisting or acting in the service of the PA's intelligence and security forces. This is the first time that an Israeli citizen has been charged with this offense without actually joining the PA.
According to the indictment, as part of his activity in the left wing Ta’ayush organization, Nawi was in contact with various officials of the Palestinian security and intelligence services, including Muhammad Khalil Abu 'Eid, a member of the General Intelligence Service of the PA in Yatta; Abd al-Hakim Ahmad Mahmud Wadi, an agent of the military intelligence apparatus in the PA; and Azzam Nawaj'ah, a member of the Preventive Security apparatus in the PA.
It was further claimed that in 2013, Nawi gave officials in the Preventive Security of the PA information on agreements relating to the delineation of boundaries, holdings, and agricultural cultivation of Palestinian land plots located in the South Hebron Hills and cultivated by Jewish farmers.
In the second case described in the indictment, a Palestinian resident of Yatta contacted Nawi in December 2014 by telephone and presented himself as a land broker by the name of Ahmad and offered him an opportunity to purchase Palestinian land in the southern Hebron hills.
The man was an agent working on behalf of a Palestinian resident of Yatta, another land broker. Nawi met with the broker along with a man identified as "N", an activist of the right wing "Ad Kan" organization, who was employed as an undercover agent in the Ta'ayush organization to gather information and document the activities of Nawi and the Ta'ayush organization.
Nawi documented the meeting, along with other similar meetings, and conveyed the tapes, along with additional land documents to agents from the PA, in order to expose the landowners.
“This is a shameful day for the State Prosecutor's Office,” said Attorneys Eitan Peleg and Leah Tsemel representing Nawi. “It is sad for anyone who believes in the law enforcement system. After two-and-a-half years of harassment, the prosecution filed an indictment that is entirely the result of illegal political pressure.
“We have no doubt that Ezra is completely innocent and we are happy to be able to expose in court the depth of the rot and the political pressures that have entered into the considerations of the police and the State Prosecutor's Office,” the lawyers said.