Ofer - Assault of soldier/policeman, Detention until conclusion of proceedings
Translation: Marganit W.
Almost every time I go to court I am asked: What are you actually doing? I explain that I try to document and publish what goes on in the hearings and what I hear from the people involved. I always add that first and foremost I am there out of solidarity.
This time a well-mannered Palestinian approached me and asked the same question. When I answered he said, “Now write down what I have to tell you”. The man and his wife left their home in Hebron early to attend their eldest son’s hearing. It’s his first arrest and the parents’ first time at Ofer. He told me that when they came to the checkpoint near the court, the soldier taunted the mother saying, “You are crying because of your son, right?” And he continued to mock her. The man, whose name is Badawi, asked me how could a soldier behave like this? I felt deeply offended.
Later in the afternoon I joined them in the remand extension hearing.
Muhammad Badawi has been detained for a week now.
He is accused of attacking a soldier.
Slowly it became apparent why he attacked the soldier. In the middle of the night soldiers entered the house, breaking down the door, turning the house upside down and demanding that all the family report to them. This is a common occurrence in hundreds of Palestinian homes every night. The father and son pleaded with the soldiers to give the women more time to get organized. The son was very upset.
The prosecutor added that he “raised his arms and refused to show an ID,” whereupon the soldiers attacked him. When he tried to fend them off, he “bit a soldier!”
The prosecutor neglected to mention that the soldiers also beat the mother.
The prosecutor stated that, “the suspect is incapable of controlling himself, which proves that he is dangerous. Hence remand extension is warranted.”
Apparently, when soldiers break into your house, you are supposed to keep your cool, maybe offer them coffee too (Palestinians, after all, are famous for their hospitality…)
Muhammad’s brother was present in court and he called to his brother: “Show them your leg, show how they beat you,” which he did.
Atty. Nasser Nubani objected to the prosecutor’s request and offered an alternative to detention. He explained that the father is an officer with Palestinian Police and that this is a “normative family”. (I must confess that I have no idea what “normative family” means, but this phrase is often heard in the court). He added that the son works for Hebron municipality and that this is his first arrest.
The judge said he was of two minds about the decision and would hand it down on Sunday.
The father thanked me profusely for sitting with them at the hearing and for listening and reporting. “You’re right, solidarity is very important,” they added.