Ofer - Separation Barrier
Translation: Marganit W.
Courtroom 3 – Military Appellate Court
Judge: Lieutenant-Colonel Nathanel Benishu
Prosecutor: Captain Odelia Amos
Defense: Atty. Gaby Lasky
Decision by the Appellate Court regarding the prosecution’s appeal for stricter punishment in the case of
Abdullah Mahmud Muhammad Abu Rahme,ID 997446703 - Case Nos. 2599/10 and 2600/10
Abdullah Abu Rahme, coordinator of the Bil'in Popular Committee against the Separation Wall, was arrested on 10.12.09.
On 24.8.10 he was convicted of charges of incitement and organizing illegal demonstration against the separation wall in Bil’in.
The verdict was given on 11.10.10: 12 months imprisonment. On the day he was to be released (18.11.10), the prosecution requested a postponement so it could appeal the leniency of the sentence. The request was accepted by the court.
The Appeal hearing took place on 6.12.10.
Today Justice Benishu handed down his decision. The prosecution requested a two-year jail sentence for Abu Rahme, but the court set the punishment at 16 months. Abu Rahme has been in jail for 13 months, and now he is due to spend 3 more months there.
There were about 30 people in the visitors’ gallery. Apart from Abdullah’s wife and brother, there were diplomats from Germany, Spain, France, Denmark, Sweden, Britain and the EU, as well as reporters and photographers from Reuters, the British Independent and Haaretz. These honorable visitors were treated very politely by representatives of Ofer Public Relations Office and the Army Spokesman.
The international protest against Abdullah’s imprisonment was of no avail. The prosecution insisted on a stiffer punishment as a deterrent against incitement against the military sovereignty in the area.
After the sentencing, Atty. Lasky explained to the visitors that the decision was politically motivated, aimed at suppressing the popular struggle. She also pointed out the difference in the Israeli penal code, where the punishment for incitement is 8 months.
Abdullah’s wife told us later, that she was barred from visiting her husband. Atty. Lasky said she had asked the president of the court for an explanation for this injunction. She was promised an answer, but so far nothing has changed.