Ofer - Plea Bargain, Minors
Translation: Marganit W.
The dockets of all the courtrooms comprised of 90 names, only 5 of them were of people staying illegally in Israel, and 8 were charges of membership, activity and providing services (for an illegal organization). SIXTY cases were of charges like “shooting at a person” “attempted homicide” “manufacturing and throwing incendiary objects (i.e., fire bombs) and “throwing objects (stones).”
I spoke with one of the attorneys who is familiar with Palestinian society. I said that it was my impression that lately the charges had changed. He agreed with me, but explained that in his opinion this does not reflect changes in Palestinian society, but it is rather a perception that Israel is trying to create. In other words, bringing to trial large numbers of detainees on charges of various sabotage activities in order to substantiate the rumors that a third intifada is on the way.
The cavalier attitude toward Palestinian property
Judge: Major Amir Dahan
Prosecutor: Captain Ashhar Erez
Defense: Atty. Leah Tzemel
Azaldin Kaid Fadel Jaber,ID 850771866-Case 5769/13
Azaldin Jaber operates a water container, which is why on 20.9.13 he came to a reservoir of Mekorot (the water company). [It is my understanding that this use of the water was agreed upon and coordinated by the Palestinian Authority – N.A.] There were 20 other containers there. When he had filled his container, police was called in and the policemen determined that Jaber had no permit to draw water, so they arrested him for stealing water. In his statement, Jaber states that an officer pointed at him and said, “this is not the thief,” but the policemen arrested him anyway and confiscated his truck. The court later released him on bail.
Atty. Tzemel had petitioned to return the container and other confiscated items to her client, but to no avail. Only today, when she arrived in court, was the appropriate file found. She said that the file contains no documents or authoritative decision on why the container had been seized. No legal process had been opened, and Jaber denies having stolen water. The defense feared (justifiably, as it turned out) that her petition would cause criminal charges to be opened against her client.
The prosecutor stated that in the interrogation file from 22.9.13, Inspector Amoyal recommends forfeiting the vehicle. However, the vehicle had already been taken. Atty. Tzemel again insisted that the file contains no document explaining where the vehicle is. She raised the basic question: who has the authority to confiscate vehicles? There must be a law governing such action, she claimed.
Justice Dahan replied that no such law exists; there is security ordnance authorizing police or soldiers to decide on confiscation, depending on the circumstances. The judge evinced some concern about the petitioner’s livelihood. The petitioner is not the owner of the container. It is jointly owned by two other people, thus the livelihood of three people is affected.
The judge suggested an alternative to the impounded container in the form of bail or guarantee, and urged the prosecution to produce an indictment and set a hearing for next week.
However, Atty Tzemel is going abroad, so this must be delayed. Originally the hearing was set for six months from now; the prosecution will try to expedite it. As for alternatives to impounding the container, the subject will be examined by the prosecutor and the defense.
12 minors came before Justice Sharon Rivlin-Ahai, most of them charged with manufacturing and throwing incendiary objects.
Judge: Lieut. Col. Sharon Rivlin Ahai
Prosecutor: Captain Yaniv Bar
Defense: Atty. Tarek Bargout
Muhammad Anis Sami Aldweik,ID 401512181-Case 3966/13
[See earlier reports]
A plea bargain was presented to the court. Dweik (born 1996) is accused of throwing a firebomb. He has been in jail for 6 months now, and the judge accepted the agreement, even though she deemed it too lenient considering the charges.
Punishment: 7 months in prison, 12 months suspended sentence for 3 years plus 4000- shekel fine.
Ismail Haled Ismail Sweiti, ID401640768 -Case No 3651/12
Defense: atty. Haled Alaraj
Sweiti is accused of attempted homicide. The defense was supposed to present medical reports but this has not been done yet. The hearing was postponed to 6.1.14.
Halil Ata Kariya, ID402246516 -Case 4695/13
[See earlier reports]
I have been following Halil’s case regularly.
The family has switched attorneys – from Tarek Bargout to Haled Alaraj. The latter explains that they had to reach a plea bargain: there are incriminators who pointed to the defendant [We have discussed the role of ‘incriminators’ in the military legal system many times in the past; perhaps it merits another examination as this is an important and charged issue – N.A.]
Today’s hearing made it clear that Halil is adamant and would not admit to the charges against him. The next hearing will include statements by witnesses and by the defendant.
Next hearing set for 15.12.13.