Ofer - Disturbances (demonstrations), Incitement
Translation: Marganit W.
The 16-clause indictment (originally 18, 2 were erased) brought in 2016 against human right activist Issa Amro includes mostly allegations of disturbing a soldier, attending a vigil without a permit, sedition, entering a restricted area etc.
Judge Lieut. Col. Menahem Lieberman presided over this continuous farce that the state has been conducting for years.
In 2003 Issa Amro established a community center in Hebron. It was later given the name “Youngsters Against the Settlement in Hebron”.
All these years Amro and his friends have been preaching non-violent resistance. Even in the face of increased settlers’ violence, he has not changed his position.
In 2016, an indictment was issued against him that included charges from 2010, 2012, 2013 and two from Feb. 2016.
Amro is represented by Atty. Gaby Lasky.
Currently, he is released on bail.
All the hearings in his case are attended by representatives of human rights organizations.
During the previous hearing, the prosecution presented its witness. It was hard to listen to their testimony.
Today it was the turn of the defense’s witnesses, and this time, too, it was hard to listen to the testimonies, especially about the violence that Amro had suffered.
The first witness, Ahmed Amro, Issa’s brother, told about an incident that happened on 1.4.12, when Issa and his friends were cleaning a house in the Old City that belongs to The “Hebron Women’s Committee” and which served for civic activities. The army showed up, started beating up on the people, handcuffed Issa and dragged him down the stairs.
All this was recorded on video, shown at the hearing.
Next came the testimony of Akram Natshe, a free-lance journalist and a university lecturer. He, too, photographed the incident.
Another witness, a volunteer of B’tselem, recorded an incident when Issa was beaten and dragged handcuffed to the police. He was standing outside the police station when he heard Issa’s screams, as he was beaten by the police. The witness called an ambulance, and soon, Issa was carried out on a stretcher and the ambulance took him to hospital.
The last witness was Kobi Snitz, a human rights activist. He testified about the events of 20.3.13. This happened on the day Obama arrived in Jerusalem. Seven Israelis and Palestinians organized a little march, donning masks of Obama and Martin Luther King. They used images from the Civil Rights struggle in the US, hoping to get the message across. Right away, soldiers and settlers showed up and attacked the demonstrators.
The charge in this instance is ”participating in a demonstration without a permit.” Kobi testified that they were detained immediately. He demanded an explanation from the soldiers but got none.
The Israeli activist Jonathan Shapira was detained with him. They were later released, but when they went to the police station to testify, they were immediately arrested and interrogated under warning.
Before and after the hearing, Issa reiterated that nothing would make him change his political position of non-violent resistance – the same things he said in his testimony in court several years ago.
There are only a few witnesses left; the saga is about to end.
The next hearing is set for 22.9.19 at 13:30.