Ofer - Incitement, Plea Bargain
Translation: Marganit W.
This is what’s known in Israel as “After the Holidays”
When I arrived this morning, the whole compound was crowded. I later found out that 140! hearings were scheduled for today!! Until 3 PM I attended several hearings, but many Palestinians were still waiting when I left.
“After the Holidays!”
Judge: Major Merav Hershkovitz Yizhaki
Detainee: Muhammad Nasser Mustafa Abu Shihah
Defense: Atty. Haled Al Arej.
Muhammad Abu Shihah is a student at Bethlehem University. As per a plea agreement he was convicted for participating in a Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] march in 2016 and of praising terrorist attacks and terrorists on Facebook. He was also convicted of throwing rocks at security forces at Rachel’s Tomb in November 2018.
Penalty: 9-month prison time beginning with the day of arrest.
12-months probation for 5 years (for throwing objects).
4-months probation for 3 years (for sedition and aiding and abetting a hostile organization, as well as for participating in a march without a permit).
Plus a 5000-shekel fine.
Again, I draw your attention to the probation clauses – this is another method aimed at thwarting activity.
Justice Hershkovitz Yithaki is newly appointed to Ofer. She introduced a new feature to the hearings: At the end of each plea agreement hearing (and I attended several) she lectured the accused and his family. The lecture included praise for the supportive family that came to attend the hearing, and reprimand to the accused, such as “You will soon be released. Quit fooling around; devote your time to study, family and work. To the family she said, “You seem like a good family. Keep and eye on him, so he does not act foolishly!”
The family members, trapped in this disgraceful situation, had no choice but to cooperate and promise they would keep an eye on him. They said that they had already warned him not to engage in foolish acts.