Press release: Israeli Forces Arrest UN-Recognized Human Rights Defender



Contact: Akram Natsheh | +970 599 362 208 | Email: [email protected]

International contact: Maya Garner | +1 (202) 925-6479 | Email: [email protected] |


Israeli Forces Arrest UN-Recognized Human Rights Defender Days After Filming Video of Soldier Violence; Israeli Activist Placed Under House Arrest


(Hebron, Occupied West Bank) On Monday, 28th November 2022, Palestinian activist Issa Amro was arrested by Israeli security forces at the police station near Kiryat Arba settlement.


Amro had been summoned to the station on Monday at 11am for an interview subsequent to a video he filmed on the 26th November of an Israeli soldier beating an Israeli activist touring the Old City of Hebron. Another soldier at the scene referenced far-right MK Ben Gvir and stated, “I am the law.” The beaten Israeli activist sustained a broken jaw and was placed under house arrest by Israeli authorities along with two other female activists who had also been touring.


Amro, who remains in Israeli custody, is due to appear in Ofer Military Court on Wednesday, 30th November.


Akram Natsheh, spokesperson for Youth Against Settlements (YAS), stated: “The occupation police notified Issa's family this evening of his arrest. Youth Against Settlements and Issa have recently been exposed to all kinds of attacks, harassment and threats by the Israeli settlers and the occupation army and so we hold the Israeli occupation responsible for the life and safety of Issa Amro.”


Earlier this month the Israeli army enforced a closed military zone (CMZ) on Amro’s home in the ancient Hebron neighborhood of Tel Rumeida, which doubles as the YAS community center. The CMZ order followed Amro’s attempt to file a complaint at the local Israeli police station regarding Israeli settler harassment during the annual olive harvest. Amro and the volunteers of Youth Against Settlements have been physically assaulted several times during this month by settlers and Israeli armed forces. UN Special Rapporteurs issued a letter condemning the attacks and calling for the reopening of Amro’s house.


Issa Amro is the co-founder of the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements initiative. In 2010, he was declared “Human Rights Defender of the year in Palestine” by the UN OHCHR and he is formally recognized as such by the European Union. In 2016, Amro was indicted by Israel on 18 charges condemned by Amnesty International as “baseless” and “politically-motivated.” A 2017 letter from numerous U.S. Representatives to the Secretary of State encouraged Israel in to reconsider the charges. Amro was convicted of six of those charges in early 2021, including three counts of “participating in a protest without a permit,” pending appeal. In 2021, Amro met with U.S. Secretary Blinken.

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