Ofer - Fines, Knives
Translation: Marganit W.
“Malena” (We’ve had it) shouted the woman, mother of a 12.5-year old boy, when offered a plea bargain entailing a 3000-shekel fine.
A young woman, angry and anguished, approached us to tell us about her 12.5-year old son’s detention. The family lives in Beir-Zeit.
A group of boys was riding horses after school, when the police came to arrest them. All the boys, except her son, were able to flee. He was taken to the Binyamin Police Station and his father was summoned. That same day, in the late afternoon, the son was brought to Ofer [Military Camp] for remand extension.
We were told that the hearing would take place on Sunday.
The mother reported that the children have nowhere to play, so they play in the streets.. The police comes regularly to provoke them.
Atty. Khaled Al-Arej began negotiating with the prosecution for a plea bargain. One suggestion was payment of 3000 shekels in return for immediate release of the boy. The painful angry shouts of the mother were unimaginable. She addressed all the Palestinians present there, accusing Israel of using Palestinian children to generate money for the state’s coffers. She refused to take part in the bargain, preferring to have her son and entire family arrested. We don’t know if this was an act of rebellion, but her firm stand was very impressive. In the end a bargain was struck: 31 days in detention plus a 500-shekel fine. Considering the administrative release, the child is expected to go home in two weeks.
There were many cases of traffic violations today. As we know, Israeli vehicles that are disqualified and removed from official registration end up in Palestine. Some people make a lot of money on these transactions. Quite often, vehicles bought by Palestinians are confiscated by various security agencies, and the buyers are fined and summoned to the military court – another means of financing and maintaining the occupation.
We also attended hearings of two miserable Palestinian women who came to the check posts with knives because they were trying to flee abusive husbands. They were Handi Rashad and Gadir Al-Atrash.
Both have small children at home and both have been detained at Sharon Prison for many months.
Both cases were postponed for later dates.