The European Union says it is "concerned" over Israel's conviction of a prominent Palestinian protest leader.

An Israeli military court on Sunday convicted Bassem al-Tamimi, 45, of urging youths to throw rocks at security forces and of leading illegal demonstrations, based on the testimony of a 15-year-old.

Al-Tamimi led protests in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh for years against Israeli policies. The protests often turn into clashes between rock-throwing youths and Israeli forces firing tear gas.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement Tuesday that the minor was interrogated "in violation of his rights."

The EU considers al-Tamimi a human rights defender. Ashton said Israel should allow people to protest peacefully.