Friday, January 21

Israel denies provisional release to Spanish humanitarian worker Juana Ruiz

Correspondent in Jerusalem



The Spanish humanitarian worker Juana Ruiz He will remain in prison after the decision of the Israeli justice to reject the request for parole raised by his defense. The telephone conversation held last week between the Spanish Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, and his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, to deal with Juana’s situation, hope was raised among the family about her possible conditional release, but finally the penitentiary board meeting in Nazareth ruled out this option and the Spanish remains behind bars. His attorneys immediately appealed the decision and expect a new board meeting next week.

Defense and prosecution reached an agreement on November 17 whereby the aid worker she was sentenced to 13 months in jail, of which he has already served eight, already a fine of 14,000 euros, for the crimes of “belonging to an illegal association” and “trafficking in foreign currency in the West Bank.”

These types of agreements are the general rule in the military justice applied by Israel in the occupied territories, a system in which 99 percent of the accused are sentenced.

No ties to a terrorist group

The sentence read in the military prison of Ofer clarified that the Spanish humanitarian worker did not acknowledge at any time having evidence of funds being diverted to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group considered terrorist by Israel, the United States and the European Union. Contrary to what is publicly defended by the Israeli foreign and defense ministers, the judge also separated the Ruiz case from the case of the six Palestinian human rights organizations that Israel has recently come to consider “terrorists” because of their alleged nexus. with the FPLP.

Juana, 64, has lived in the Palestinian territories for three decades, where she is married, the mother of two children and works as a project coordinator at the Palestinian health NGO Health Work Committees (HWC), considered illegal by Israel. On April 13, the military broke into the house where Ruiz lives in Beit Sahour, south of Bethlehem, early in the morning, and since then she has been detained.

Next week there is a new opportunity to obtain parole, but the family is psyched up for the possibility that Juana will remain in prison until April 14, the date on which she will have served her sentence.

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