Ofer - Palestinians staying illegally in Israel, Throwing an Incendiary Object
Translation: Tal Haran
In justice Eti Adar’s courtroom, most hearings were brief, or as the headline of the protocol puts it:
“Hearing proceedings – The court identifies the defendant…
The defendant declares that he is represented by attorney…”
Defense: We request a postponement… and then a new date is set (many hearings were set for 15.1.14).
Judge: Major Eti Adar
Prosecutor: Lieut. Netanel Yaacov-Hai
Defense: Att. Khaled Al Aaraj
Mohammad Deeb Mahmoud Al Amour, ID 854769213 -Case 4931/13
Annas Adnan Yahya Malash, ID 853774842 -Case 5354/13
Attorney Al Aaraj immediately requests a postponement, and a new date is set for 26.1.14.
The two defendants claim not guilty (one is accused of producing and hurling an incendiary object, and the other of preparing/hurling a bomb).
Now begins the stage of negotiations for obtaining a plea bargain. The feeling of a ‘moving-belt’ in these hearings changes completely when one speaks with the defendants’ families. In this case they are people from Bethlehem. One of the two is 16 years-old, and again we hear the horrific tale of our fine IDF boys who come in the middle of the night, break in the doors with a shock tool, another of the army’s state-of-the-art developments, a break-in after which those doors will no longer be usable.
One of the fathers tells me how he suddenly woke up, finding a soldier aiming a gun at him in his bedroom.
This happened 4 months ago. After the pogrom, the son was taken off for the night to the Etzyon police station. From there he was taken for a month to the detention center in Ofer, and from there to Ramla prison.
I have often mentioned in my reports that these conversations with family members are no less significant than the actual reporting from courtroom hearings. They are also far more trying. The family members feel, and say it, that for that brief moment someone is ready to listen to them and try to pass on what they are going through. This time, too, I was told that what we do there is very important.
Defendant: Issa Ali Issa Takatka, ID 854047107 - Case 5792/13
Defense: Atty Abdallah Murar
Issa Takatka is accused of having worked in central Jerusalem without an entry permit from October 29, 2013 until November 5, 2013.
None of his family members was present at the hearing.
Attorney Murar explained that he does not know whether he is actually representing the defendant. He did represent him at the arrest phase, but has not yet received instructions from the family whether to carry on. The judge explains this is an important issue since a financial matter is at hand. Rightly so – Attorney Murar must know whether he will be paid for his work. Issa has no answer, so the judge allows him to make a phone call and the next session is set for 8.1.14.
No attempt was made by the judge to suggest to Attorney Murar to hold the session in any case and discuss money matters with the family later on. Nor was there any mention of the fact that no family members were present.