Ofer - Appeal, Health Problems
Translation: Marganit W.
Witness for the prosecution: “The purpose was to arrest somebody, not a specific person.”
Judge Lieut. Col. Azriel Levi presided over the remand extension hearing of Muhammad Amira.
(The attorneys were on strike in solidarity with the prisoners’ hunger strike. They officiated only in hearings of remand extensions).
Prosecutor Lieut. Yitzhak Unger delivered the usual speech, often heard in cases of activists of the popular resistance. “A known instigator, regular participant of mass riots etc.”
Four witnesses are cited in the indictment, but only one claims to have seen the defendant “throwing rocks” and heaven forfend!, “carrying a flag!”
By the way, this is the same witness who shot a sponge bullet at Amira’s neck, from a short distance, while facing no danger to himself.
The judge asked the prosecution why they had not supplied their own photos: there is an observation point with cameramen at the scene. He added that he hoped the videos had been given to the police for an investigation of the unauthorized shooting.
Atty. Nery Ramati who defended Amira, claimed that the prosecution should not have been given the case as it was. He added that by now the police should have opened the investigation of the shooting incident. Amira was arrested in order to justify the shooting. Security forces had staged an ambush in a nearby olive grove, and the witness was chasing someone. At the nearby demonstration nobody threw rocks.
Unlike the prosecutor, Atty. Ramati presented a video documenting the shooting and the army’s behavior during the incident.
In his decision, the judge repeated the charges that on 14.4.17 the defendant threw objects, including a rock, in order to hurt the soldiers while participating in a riot.
However, he mentioned that only one witness claimed that the purpose was to arrest someone, not a specific person.
The judge added: “This is not the first time that security forces failed to present their videos. It is almost evident that the defendant was targeted for arrest“ (from the protocol).
Released on bail: 3000 shekels against third party guarantee of 20.000 shekels.
The judge gave the prosecution time to appeal until the next day at 10:00. He ordered the release deferred until Sunday at 12.
The next hearing is set for 5.6.17.
Muhammad Amira was brought in from Ofer Prison after being in hospital for several days. His neck was in a brace and he told us he was in severe pain.
Israeli activists and a Palestinian friend from Ni’alin were present at the hearing, and offered to post the necessary bail.
But the next day we heard that the prosecution had decided to appeal. The hearing was set for Sunday 23.4.17.
On 13.3.17 we sent a report entitled “Shameless Bastards” where we told of a father of an underage boy who was taken from home in the middle of the night and accused – based on incrimination - of throwing rocks a year earlier. The boy did not plead guilty so the father, who has a permit to work in Israel, was summoned to Kiryat Arba where an officer told him that if his son did not confess, “his permit would be immediately revoked.” The father refused and lost his work permit.
That same father approached me today and told me that his son is still in jail, refusing to confess. His hearing was supposed to take place today, but his attorney, Haled Al Araj did not come because of the strike.
I don’t know what happened next.