Ofer - Sentence, Women
Translation: Marganit W.
Judges are from Mars, Palestinians from Venus
Judges and prosecutors in military courts are always soldiers in uniform who impose the military law on a civilian Palestinian population that lives under military occupation.
I often wonder: how come judges and prosecutors do not know (or do not want to know) how the dozens of Palestinians they prosecute every day actually live.
Judge: Major Haim Balilty
Prosecutor: Lieutenant Gali Katalan
Defense: Atty. Mahmoud Hassan
Defendant: Noor Sa‘il Abed-al-Kader Algandi - ID 855069696
The defendant is married to a Palestinian from the Old City and lives in Shuafat Refugee Camp. She has a green ID card [West Bank].
She used to have a work permit and worked in the marketing department of East Jerusalem Kupat Holim . She did not have time to obtain a magnetic card, and her work permit was revoked. 25-year old Noor has 3 children who are registered as Israeli residents and study in schools in Jerusalem. Noor has to work, so she tried to cross into Israel using someone else’s ID and was arrested. This happened in May 2014, but she is only now being indicted. Thus, Noor has been unable to work for more than a year. She was detained for one night and was released on a 500-shekel bail.
Her previous boss at Kupat Holim came to testify for her character. He is a surgeon at “Asaf Harofe” hospital. He had very high praise for her.
The judge asked why her permit had been revoked. Atty. Hassan explained that she did not have time to request the issue of a magnetic card - hence my title for this report: The judge asked: What’s the problem with issuing a magnetic card? Atty. Hassan explained that the process involves presenting several documents, going to the DCO office, standing in long lines that often end in delays and postponements. The judge was stunned: he could not understand.
Later, Atty. Hassan asked for a short suspended sentence so the defendant could try again to obtain a work permit.
The judge said, “Indeed, I heard that there is a connection between the length of the suspended sentence and the possibility of obtaining a work permit.”
Like I said, judges are from Mars.
The judge also said that the law mandates a one-year suspended sentence.
Even the prosecutor said quietly that she knows of cases where a shorter period was given. The judge looked into the matter and found that he could not give the defendant a suspended sentence for less than a year, despite Atty. Hassan’s argument.
Thus, the sentence includes a one-year suspension and 500-shekel fine to be deducted from the bail posted earlier.
I chose to report on this seemingly minor case, which does not involve a raid on a Palestinian home in the middle of the night and kidnapping a person, nor does it include torture or minors. It simply depicts daily life of a civilian population under military occupation.