Ofer - Stone Throwing, Holding and trading of combat materiel
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Major Haim Balilti
There are 27 names in the docket, 8 of them Palestinians staying illegally in Israel, either using false IDs or other people’s papers, or people caught at checkpoints or mountain paths without proper permits. These are all people who tried to find work in Israel.
Three are charges with membership and activity in unlawful organizations and nine are accused of throwing rocks and other objects. Most of the detainees are very young.
The rest of the cases are of possession, purchase and sale of weapons.
Almost all the cases were “arraignments”. These are bureaucratic hearings. The accused sits on the bench, the judge asks if he understands the charges, the attorney answers for him, requesting postponement to study the case. That’s it, next!
Our request to obtain the list of hearings is almost automatically rejected. It takes long negotiations, arguments and precedents (“last week we got it…You can downloaded from the internet…I don’t have the file in my computer….ask the secretary… ask David etc.) we receive the list, but not before the automatic NO.
Maher Abed Al-Krim Suleiman Shawamra – ID 996901641
He entered Israel with a forged ID.
Atty. Abdullah Mr’ar requests a 2-week postponement to study the case. Request granted and the hearing is set for 28.1.15. Maher addresses the court: “I am detained at Rimonim Prison. When I was transferred from Ofer, all my belongings, clothes, toiletry etc. remained at Ofer. All my requests to get them have been denied. Fellow prisoners lent me some clothes, or else I wouldn’t be able to be here”.
The judge tells Maher that he can petition in writing. Another example of the separate worlds of judges and prisoners. I can just see a prisoner at Rimonim asking the guards for pen and paper to write the request. The guard (if he remembers) passes on the request to the commander who eventually makes some inquiries about the request. Thus after back and forth over a week’s time he grants the request and the prisoner is given pen and paper. The note is in Arabic so the commander can’t read it. He looks for someone to translate it. Then he has to transfer it to Ofer. Need I go on? In the meantime Maher needs underwear, soap and toothpaste. But the judge lives in an orderly world of formal written requests, so he says, “The commander of Ofer Prison will note that while Mr Shawamra was transferred to Rimonim, his personal effects remained at Ofer. The Prison Authorities will see to it that the personal belongings are transferred as soon as possible.”
Balal Talal Hamed Abu Sneina – ID 401992136
Accused of throwing objects.
As per the attorney’s request, the hearing will be on 28.1.15.
Hamza Adnan Mustafa Abu Srur – ID 854293040
He is accused of throwing rocks at Aida Refugee Camp. His attorney, Muhammad Shahin. is in another courtroom and can’t represent him. He is therefore represented by Atty. Munzer Abu Ahmad.
The hearing was set for 28.1.15.
Marwan Hadeeb Muhammad Awad – ID 914092481
Accused of car theft.
He is represented by Munzer Abu Ahmad.
On 10.12.14 we reported on this case. A man named Shadi, whom the prosecution named as Awad’s accomplice, was examined that day. Today was supposed to be an evidentiary hearing, but the prosecution’s witness did not show up. There is no documentation of this witness’s subpoena in the file. (He himself is in one of Israel’s prisons).
The hearing was set for 14.1.15
Alaa Fahri Ahmad Mazarua – ID 905761466
Accused of staying illegally in Israel.
He has no attorney.
There is no subpoena for arraignment in the file. The prosecution claims that all attempts to summon him by phone failed. Thus, there was no defendant, no attorney, no family members. Only the judge and the typist were there.
Judge Shlomo Katz
After the usual altercation regarding the list of cases (No! I don’t have it etc.), we received a list with no date and no relevance to the 7 detainees sitting in court. It turned out that they were all members of one family, Malihat, Bedouins from the Jaba region. They are accused of possessing arms, which they claim serve them in a dispute with another family. Some of them were elderly men. An agreement was already in place. Detainees 1-5 will be released on a 1000-shekel bond each. Their representative will bring the money tomorrow. Detainees 6 and 7 will remain in detention until the case goes to the prosecution.