Thirty-two Democratic members of the United States Congress signed a letter calling on their country’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to use his influence with Israel to stop the trial of Palestinian activist Issa Amro whom the Israeli authorities accuse of incitement and assaulting Israeli soldiers.
Amro is the leader of Youth Against Settlements, a Hebron-based group against Israeli settlement expansion. The organisation said in a press statement yesterday that the US lawmakers’ letter is a “history victory” for America institutions and for those who organised the campaign.
Tens of thousands of Americans took part in the campaign by writing letters to their Congressmen and visiting their offices to discuss the issue, Youth Against Settlements said in its statement.
The 32 Democratic members who signed the letter were subjected to a fierce attack by the pro-Israel lobby in the US. They include Keith Ellison, Mark Pocan, Betty McCollam and Earl Blumenauer.
Amro said that the Israeli occupation, in collaboration with Jewish settlers and the Israeli civil administration, trumped up charges against him, adding that Israeli authorities “incite” against Palestinian activists in Hebron.
Amro is facing trial in Israel in a case that dates to 2013. Accusations against him include incitement and attacking Israeli soldiers yet the charges have been described by Amnesty International as “baseless” and “politically motivated”.