Ofer - Popular Struggle, Release on Bail

Observers: 
Norah Orlow (reporting)
Jan-24-2017
|
Morning

Translation: Marganit W.

 

Today I attended two hearings that were even more absurd than what we usually hear at the military courts.

 

I’ll start with the case of

Abdallah Mahmoud Muhammad Abu Rahme, ID 997446703 - Case  2028/17

 

Abdallah is a resident of Bil’in. He is one of the leaders of the popular struggle against the separation wall and against the occupation of Palestinian territories in general. The system targets him and his colleagues for constant harassment, as it does to other leaders of the non-violent struggle in other villages such as Nabi Saleh and Kadoum, who are constantly searched, detained, arrested and raided.

 

This time, too, Abu Rahme was targeted. Last week, he went with a group of activist to set up a protest tent, which they named “Bab al-Shams”. They were protesting the upcoming law that would annex Maale Edumim to Israel. The police ordered them to evacuate the site and they obeyed. And yet, six activists were arrested.

The judge at the Ofer appellate court ordered their immediate release, but when Abdullah came to Ofer to attend his friends’ hearing, he was arrested by a policeman.

 

The next day I attended the hearing of his case.

Justice Lieut. Col. Azriel Levy officiated.

Defense: Atty. Nery Ramati.

 

The defense told the judge that there was no reason for his client to be in court, whereupon the judge turned to the policeman and said angrily,, “This is unbelievable!” The policeman said that the detainee was one of the organizers of the demonstrations, adding that he had not read the decision of the appellate court. The judge ordered the immediate release of Abu Rahme against third party warranty by an Israeli citizen (me) to the tune of 15,000 shekels.

But the witch-hunt was not over yet. The next night dozens of soldiers raided Abdulla’s home, confiscating computers and cell phones of two families.

(See also report of the incident in SAMIDOUN).

 

Ziad Muhammad Yunes Mahamra – ID 943280859 - Case No. 6891/15

Ziad is released on bail. He is a resident of Bir Al-Id (in the Yatta region) about 60 years old.

Judge: Major Etty Adar

Defense: Nery Ramati

The son of the accused was present in court.

 

The event took place in 2013.

Ziad Mahamra attacked and injured Yacov Talia, the owner of a private ranch near Yatir in the South Hebron Mountain. This followed repeated confrontations between the two, whenever Talia invaded Mahamra’s territory.

 

In a preliminary argument, the defense brought up the fact that there was a delay in presenting the indictment. The incident occurred almost four years earlier, and the last interrogation was carried out in 2013. The defense wanted to know the reason for the delay: “the case lay there like a stone,” he said. He cited many cases where delays affected the court’s decision. It is clear that the charge should be dismissed.

Moreover, the principal witness, the petitioner Yacov Talia passed away in 2015 [tractor accident], a fact that was not known to the prosecution. Had the indictment been presented in time, the witness could have been heard and the defense could have cross-examined him. In addition, the defense argued, only the accused was charged, despite repeated complaints by the accused and his family against the petitioner and his family. After the incident Talia suffered no injuries that required medical attention.

Mahamra has no prior record.

 

Justice Decision:

The prosecution must respond to the defenses’ preliminary argument within a month. A meeting will convene on 7.3.17 to hear the prosecution’s response without the presence of the accused.