Israel postpones trial of Turkish state aid worker

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency representative in Gaza was arrested in February for allegedly aiding Hamas

Israel postpones trial of Turkish state aid worker

World Bulletin / News Desk

An Israeli court has postponed trial proceedings until Sept. 10 in an ongoing case against an employee of Turkey's state aid agency charged with “supporting terrorism”.

Mohamed Murtaja, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency's (TIKA) representative in the blockaded Gaza Strip, has been in Israeli custody since Feb. 12.

The decision to postpone trial proceedings was announced at a Wednesday court session in the southern city of Beersheba.

Murtaja, who is set to remain in custody until proceedings resume on Sept. 10, did not attend Wednesday’s court session.

Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, says Murtaja's aid activities in the blockaded Gaza Strip amounted to “support for terrorism”.

Murtaja is accused by Israeli authorities of siphoning humanitarian aid to members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

Married with four children, Murtaja has worked for TIKA in Gaza since 2012.

In recent years, aid workers in Gaza have faced mounting Israeli pressure, often being accused of aiding Hamas.

Wahid Burash, a UN-employed Palestinian, was recently sentenced to seven months in jail by an Israeli court for allegedly aiding the Gaza-based resistance group.

And late last year, B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organization that documents military violations in the West Bank, was accused of “treason” by the Israeli authorities.

Additionally, Israeli lawmakers recently voted in favor of legislation that would ban activists calling for a boycott on Israeli products from entering the country.

Last Mod: 06 Temmuz 2017, 11:31
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