The military trial against the Spanish humanitarian worker, Juana Ruiz Sánchez, accused by Israel of belonging to an illegal organization among other charges, began this Tuesday after three postponements in the occupied West Bank. However, at the first hearing, and after the appearance of the aid worker, the process has again been postponed. until September.

“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 territories (Palestinians), “his lawyer, Avigdor Fledman, told EFE before the hearing.

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

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

The aid worker is charged with five counts, among them, “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 terrorist, just like 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 he highlighted the Health Work Committees, whose director, Satha Odeh, was also arrested in July.

It’s an NGO would divert funds than European countries donate as international cooperation through a mechanism of fraud, falsification and misrepresentation of documents.

The EU sees no evidence of diversion of funds

Last Thursday the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union (EU), Josep Borrell, defended that “to date, (the EU) it has found no substantiated evidence of misuse or diversion in Palestine. “

“The EU is perfectly aware of the matter of the Spanish citizen Juana Ruiz Sánchez,” said the head of European diplomacy, adding that “provide Ruiz Sánchez with adequate detention conditions and ensuring that you receive assistance, consultation and legal advice remain extremely important. “

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 “.


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