GAZA Oct 12 A Palestinian court in the occupied
West Bank on Wednesday sent a military officer to jail for
criticising President Mahmoud Abbas after he attended the
funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, the officer's
Lieutenant-Colonel Osama Mansour was jailed for a year for
breaking the military code of conduct which forbids uniformed
officials from expressing political opinions and he was also
discharged from the service, lawyer, Ghandi Ameen, told Reuters.
"They found him guilty of disobeying orders and the
explanation of the verdict was that he had expressed a political
opinion. He was sentenced to a year and was dismissed from his
job. The court's ruling was tough and unexpected ... and we will
appeal," Ameen said.
While supporters defended Abbas as making a diplomatic and a
good-will gesture in attending Peres's funeral in Jerusalem
earlier this month, critics in the West Bank and in the Gaza
Strip said he betrayed national principles.
Peres, 93, shared a Nobel prize for interim peace deals with
the Palestinians but many social media postings in Arabic
focused on a view of his legacy that jarred with his world
acclaim as an architect of the landmark Oslo accords in the
Peres's state funeral was attended by U.S. President Barack
Obama and dozens of dignitaries from around the world. Abbas's
visit was his first to Jerusalem since 2010.
Before the funeral, Mansour called on Abbas on his Facebook
page to reconsider his decision to participate and said it would
be "wrong" for the Palestinian leader to attend.
"If it was your decision to take part in the funeral of the
killer of our children, you were wrong, and if you made the
decision on the recommendation (of your advisers), you were
misled," Mansour wrote.
(Writing by Nidal Almughrabi, Editing by Ori Lewis and Ralph