Twenty-four days and twenty-four nights, it has taken Juana Ruiz Sánchez to learn the charges for which she is in an Israeli prison. The Spanish aid worker, resident in Palestine for 35 years, has been accused of being part of an “illegal organization” , participating in its activities and receiving and introducing money into the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Israel denounces that the Health Works Committee, where Juani works, would have diverted European public funds to finance the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a faction that it considers terrorist along with the US and the EU.
Accused of five charges , Ruiz Sánchez, 62, will remain in prison pending another hearing in this military court on Monday . The lawyer of the aid worker may present allegations to this formal charge of terrorist financing at this seventh hearing.
The defense will ask for Juani’s release while the trial is running. She was arrested early on April 13 at her home in Beit Sahur, near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank , where she lives with her husband, a Palestinian Christian.
“It seems that the objective that a citizen and aid worker with years of professional and solidary activity in health matters, continues to be detained is to create a story to avoid having funds for humanitarian cooperation and development in Palestine,” Deputy Antón Gómez has tweeted -Kingdom of Galicia in Common.
According to Israel’s accusations, Juani would have participated in a plan to divert tens of millions of euros of European public funds from different countries, including Spain. “The organizations that we have worked with the Health Workers Committees strongly denythat the money from the Spanish cooperation be used in something other than in carrying out health and humanitarian projects in Palestine, “80 organizations have defended in a statement.
From this group of associations of cooperation and support to the Occupied Territories, they have denounced the ” brutal attack by Israel on solidarity ” through the figure of Juana Ruiz Sánchez and her three fellow detainees from the committees.
They have also reproached the Hebrew State for carrying out this blatant attack in the midst of the pandemic, “against one of the few health organizations with infrastructure and personnel capable of serving the Palestinian population of the West Bank.” At the same time, they have demanded greater involvement from the Spanish Government and the EU to “commit to human rights.”
Canada, the United States, the European Union and, of course, Israel consider the PFLP a terrorist group because of its involvement in various attacks . The Shin Bet , the Israeli internal intelligence service, has denounced that the Health Work Committees where Juana works served as a cover to obtain more funding.
“The investigation revealed that a significant part of the funds was used, in practice, for terrorist activities of the PFLP, ” a Shin Bet statement said on Thursday.
According to Israel, the sending of European government funds to NGOs or cooperation agencies working in the West Bank would go to finance Palestinian organizations affiliated with or belonging to the PFLP. Since the campaign for Juani’s release, they have claimed to be “devastated by these false accusations from the Israeli state.”