Ashton denounces conviction of Palestinian activist

JERUSALEM  — The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton slammed Israel on Wednesday for convicting a Palestinian activist who leads protests against the West Bank separation barrier.
In a statement Ashton said that she is "concerned" by the conviction of Abdullah Abu Rahmeh. She said it aims to prevent Palestinians from protesting Israeli actions.
Abu Rahmeh, who led marches from the village of Bilin to the barrier, has been jailed since December. An Israeli military court convicted him Tuesday of incitement and demonstrating illegally.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Ashton's "interference with a transparent legal procedure is highly improper."