Ofer - Stone Throwing, Palestinians staying illegally in Israel
Translation: Marganit W.
What do Palestinians live on?
Justice Lieut. Col. Hanan Rubinstein hears the case of a Palestinian detainee, a 25-year old carpenter who allegedly forged an ID in order to work in Umm Al Fahem. This is one of many similar hearings: Palestinians staying illegally in Israel in an attempt to support their families.
Atty, Ilya Theodory worked very hard: he presented the court with precedents from magistrate courts where detainees were released on minimal bails.
The judge agreed that there should be no difference between civil and military courts.
Justice Rubinstein shows empathy for the detainee, for his family and for the hardships of life in general. The detainee tells him that he is the eldest of 8 children, the only one who earns a living: the others are all in school. The parents are present in court. The father explains that he cannot work because of back problems.
The empathetic judge wants to know how they manage. Only later did it dawn on me that the sympathy and the questions stem from fear that the harsh circumstances may impel the man to repeat the offense. Even though there should be no difference between a civil and a military court, the large amount needed for a deposit will make it impossible for the family to pay. The judge does not want the man to get the wrong ideas, thinking that judges always release detainees on bail and consequently repeat the offense.
At the end, the judge reiterated: “In view of their financial difficulties, I sure hope they can obtain the needed sum”.
Military Court of Appeals
Judge: Lieut. Col. Ronen Atzmon
Appellant: Mahmoud Wajia Muhammad Tamimi – ID 853461796
Defense: Nery Ramati
Prosecutor: Captain Gilad Peretz
Atty. Ramati asks to complete the investigation. During the incident in question, an army unit watched a group of rock throwers. The commander said he saw someone in an orange shirt and wanted to arrest him, assuming he was the leader. The soldiers retreated, flanking the rock throwers and pushing them toward another unit that waited to ambush them. This maneuver took an hour and a half, and eventually the man in orange shirt and a child were arrested. Mahmoud Tamimi, however, claims he was at home. When told that his little nephew had been arrested, he ran out, and five minutes later was arrested.
Atty. Ramati says his client has an alibi but nobody checked it. He agrees to the detention, but if there is a remand extension, an alternative to detention should be considered.
The prosecutor objects to the defense’s request. No investigation is perfect, he says, adding, “When you check evidence and see potential for indictment, it is clear that there is probable cause. Why does it always fall to the prosecution? [Who else should it fall to? N.A.] I continue to investigate after the indictment and this involves a whole procedure”.
In short, we were again exposed to the hardships that beset the prosecution.
Decision will be handed down at the end of the week.