Ofer - Stone Throwing, Remand Extension
Translation: Marganit W.
Shosh Kahn (from Women for Women Prisoners) who was also present, told me about the arrest of Fidaa Suleiman from Beit Ur Tahta on charges of rock throwing. Such arrests are not common, so we thought it would be interesting to watch.
The hearing was short: the charges were read, and Atty. Ahmad Safiya asked for a postponement in order to negotiate with the prosecution.
The next session was set for 28.10.14.
In the yard we spoke to Fidaa’s mother and a cousin. On the same day her brother had a hearing in court as well.
Alaa Muhammad Hader Suleiman – ID 853005056
Hearing about remand extension before Justice Lt. Col. Hanan Rubinstein.
Alaa was represented by Atty. Ahlam Haddad. She claimed that there are inconsistencies in the file regarding different versions on different dates given by one incriminating witness. She thinks the evidence is flawed, and the violation cannot be proved. Consequently, the defense asks to release the detainee or find alternative to detention.
It was clear from the start that the judge would not accede to her request. The prosecutor cites earlier conviction from 2007 with a 6-year sentence. At the end of 2008, after only 20 months in prison, he was released as a gesture.
(Namely, a gesture to Abu-Mazen – N.A.) As we have seen in many other instances, the trend is to put back in jail those released as gestures who have not served their allotted time.
Judge’s decision: remand extension for 8 days until 28.9.14.
We found out later - from talking to the mother and cousin - that the mother has 4 sons and one daughter in jail. Two of the sons have been in prison for 8 months.
Fidaa threw rocks at a car on Route 443, near Makkabim Checkpoint and was arrested by soldiers on the spot. Her brother Alaa was arrested a few days later.
Their cousin is also in jail. The father was in prison for 3 years, and after his release he died of cancer. It was not clear if he became ill in prison and was released as a result.
Aya, who knows about my connection to Beit Ummar, drew my attention to a conversation between Ahlam Haddad and a young man who mentioned the name Abu Maria. It turns out that the young man’s brother, 16 years old, has been detained for several days. I know his family.
The Palestinians are always happy to see someone who knows their village. When the young man told me that they live near Karmei-Tsur settlement, I told him I know exactly where it is and what they are going through. There was instant solidarity between us.
A woman from Hussan approached and said she recognized me. She had driven in a car with me to the seashore on one of our “Disobedient Women” forays. [Disobedient Women practice civil disobedience and smuggle Palestinian women into Israel for visits– N.A.]
All we could do was say hello and explain our presence in court. There wasn’t much else we could do, but the sense of solidarity was strong.
Particularly heartbreaking was my encounter with Halil Qariya’s parents. I first reported on Halil on 1.9.13. He was 16 at the time, a diabetic who needed daily insulin injections.
Halil was arrested when he came back from Jordan, accused of throwing a firebomb. His first attorney was Tareq Bargout, but the parents quickly hired Haled al-Araj. Halil has been in detention for 13 months now, and every time the attorney explains how hard it is to reach a plea bargain because of the incriminators. However, there has hardly been a hearing in the case, because the attorney keeps asking for postponements. This time, too, it was not clear if a hearing would take place. I think about Halil’s protracted detention: whether a plea bargain is arranged or not, he has already served his time. (Considering that he has no prior record).
I asked the father, who is a doctor and had treated his son’s diabetes before his incarceration, about Halil’s health. He said it was deteriorating.
I think that the growing wrinkles on the parents’ faces reflect the long months their son has been in jail.