Monday, January 24

The Israeli military trial begins against a Spanish humanitarian worker


Juana Ruiz Snchez, detained since April 13, is accused by Israel of belonging to an illegal organization

Cooperator Juana Ruiz S
Cooperator Juana Ruiz Snchez.EFE
  • The accusation Israel accuses a Spanish aid worker of a Palestinian NGO in a case of terrorist financing
  • The defense The lawyer for the Spanish woman detained without charge by Israel: “She is suffering a lot”

The military trial against the Spanish humanitarian worker Juana Ruiz Snchez, accused by Israel of belonging to an illegal organization among other charges, began today after three postponements in the occupied West Bank.

“The case against our client Juana Ruiz is unfounded and is part of Israel’s effort to criminalize all external humanitarian activity and organization in the occupied (Palestinian) territories,” declared her lawyer, Avigdor Fledman, before the hearing.

Ruiz Sánchez, 62, entered today handcuffed and visibly tired into the room of the military prison in Ofer, in the occupied West Bank, where her husband and two representatives of the General Consulate of Spain in Jerusalem were.

Arrested since April 13, Ruiz Snchez worked as a project coordinator at the Palestinian NGO Work Committees for Health, and it was not until May that she was formally charged by the military justice system.

She is being tried on five counts, including “membership of an illegal organization”, “participation in activities of an illegal organization” and “serving on the board of directors of an illegal organization”.

Israel considers that the entity where it is employed diverted funds to the activities of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which it considers a terrorist, as does the EU or the United States.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry denounced that the PFLP would be operating a network of humanitarian organizations in the West Bank, among which it highlighted the Health Work Committees, whose director, Satha Odeh, was also arrested in July.

These NGOs would divert funds that European countries donate as international cooperation through a mechanism of fraud, falsification and misrepresentation of documents.

Last Thursday, the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union (EU), Josep Borrell, defended that “to date, (the EU) has not found substantiated evidence of misuse or deviation in Palestine.”

“Now it is examining the recent accusations of the Israeli authorities in this regard,” argued Borrell in a parliamentary response to the request of the MEP, Soraya Rodriguez.

“The EU is perfectly aware of the matter of the Spanish citizen Juana Ruiz Snchez,” said the head of European diplomacy, adding that “providing Ruiz Snchez with adequate detention conditions and guaranteeing that he receives assistance, consulting and legal advice, continue to be extreme. importance”.

Borrell showed the EU’s commitment to continue “supporting civil society organizations as essential contributors to good governance, the protection of human rights and sustainable development.” AND

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