Ofer - Danger to Regional Security, Minors
Translation: Marganit W.
Shosh Kahn (Women for Women Prisoners) and I came to observe the hearings of two underage Palestinian girls detained in Sharon Prison.
We spoke to family members and even observed the hearing (with the consent of the family and the attorney), but because of the Juvenile Laws we are forbidden to report.
I always try to talk with Palestinians who come to the court. Most are appreciative of the attention and are happy to share information. What mostly characterizes the feelings of Palestinians here is powerlessness vis-à-vis an arbitrary system. Quite often they cannot follow the hearing because the translation is so poor. They ask the attorneys the same questions again and again and the attorneys try to explain.
With resentment and indignation they tell me about their lives. A father from Hebron tells me that aside from the son in jail he has another son in elementary school. Quite often when the son goes to school, settlers arrive and pelt him and his mates with rocks. The soldiers watching do not interfere. Once he asked a soldier why he allows the settlers to throw rock at the school kids, and the soldier replied, “Because your son is a terrorist. If he is not one now, he will become one later.” The father asks me, “How can you talk like this about a nine-year old?”
Two people from the village of Akraba tell me a particularly interesting story. When I ask them (one old, one young) why they are there, the younger one said in very good Hebrew, “Haven’t you heard about the big cell found in Nablus?” I says that the Israeli press reports about exposing terrorist cells all the time, but the reports are not always credible. The young man told me that five months earlier a Palestinian from Hebron came to their village. Since he was a stranger, tradition dictated they invited him in. The Hebronite said he had to go to the village of Kalil, but was not familiar with the area. Again, out of hospitality, a cousin drove him there. They never saw the Hebronite again. But a few days later, he called the cousin and told him that in Kalil he had bought weapons. The cousin immediately told him not to call him again and to erase his phone number. The prosecution has a record of those phone calls. The cousin was preparing for his upcoming wedding. Three months after the phone call, on the eve of the wedding, the army came. As usual, they turned the house upside down and arrested the cousin. After two days the family was able to track him down. Then they hired Atty. Maya Giladi. With him were arrested 23 other people. This is the story of the uncovered cell.
Naturally, instead of a wedding celebration, it was more like a funeral. Aunts had arrived from Jordan, brothers from Saudi Arabia and many other guests.
After the arrest, the family tried to find information about the Hebronite. It turned out that he had been arrested with two kilos of heroin in his possession, and probably he was then persuaded to become a collaborator. Today he lives in Beersheba.
Atty. Maya Giladi asked for an alternative to detention, but the motion was rejected. Today the decision was being appealed.
Atty. Ahlam Haddad told us of a student (female) rom Yata, studying at the Hebron Polytechnic. On 9.8.15 the regional commander signed a restraining order – until 1.2.16 – arguing that she is a security risk.
The attorney was going to appeal it today.
Come to Ofer: here you will see the essence of the occupation.