A left-wing American-Israeli activist was detained by police in the West Bank on Monday and reportedly claimed officers suspected him of possessing “materials related to BDS.”
Jeff Halper, a cofounder of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, told Haaretz that he was stopped by police after leading a group on a tour near the settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.
He said they pulled him off a bus heading to Jerusalem and put him in a police van after saying something about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which advocates sanctioning Israel over its policies in the West Bank.
According to Halper, the officers asked him if he had “any BDS material” in his bag, before proceeding to throw a number of maps he had on the ground.
He told Haaretz that police refused to inform him why he was detained.
A police spokesman was quoted as saying that Halper was detained on suspicion of “incitement,” but that any additional investigation is unlikely to take place.
“There is no investigation into this matter. There was information checked by a patrol. Once it became clear he committed no violations, he was freed,” the spokesperson said.
Despite a number of laws in Israel targeting pro-BDS advocacy, including legislation passed earlier this month barring BDS supporters from entering Israel, the distribution of materials promoting a boycott of Israel would not be illegal.