Ofer - Plea Bargain, Stone Throwing
Translation: Marganit W.
Courtroom 7- Justice Hanan Rubinstein - Remand Extensions
As usual, we asked the interpreter, who is in charge of the docket, for the list of hearings. After ignoring, evading and dismissing us, he finally passed the request to the judge. The latter, without even trying to hide his disgust, said, I do not hand out lists here!
Our continuing saga with lists that we have to request makes us wonder why some (not all) of the judges make such a fuss about it. If they thought that what they do in court is just and fair, wouldn’t they want to publish the facts?
Their refusal to comply with out requests suggests that deep down they know that their acts are suspect.
In the end we received the list from one of the lawyers. Ten minutes later, a Prison Authority officer and a security guard walked in, conferred with the lawyer and demanded the list back. Why? Because it contained 47 names, of both adult and minor detainees. We regretted that we could not see the names, but we were pleased that the military court guards the rights of underage detainees, just as it protects them when they are arrested in the middle of the night, and submits them to interrogations. [ See the Ahmad Mansara film and other instances where the Shabak [GSS] interrogators testify that the interrogations are strictly in accordance with the rules and the confessions are all given willingly by 13, 14 and 15 year olds].
Having witnessed how the court protects the rights of minors, we proceeded to Courtroom 4.
Justice Etty Adar’s Court
Of 25 cases, 11 were of manufacturing and throwing incendiary objects, 3 were of illegal stay in Israel, 2 of membership and activity in unlawful organizations and 2 of arms trading. These numbers reflect the fact that popular resistance is a spontaneous act of unorganized youths. However, the charges in today’s cases have no connection to the present “Individuals Intifada”; they were all arrested a long time ago.
Nessim Galeb Ata Alhuarin - ID 854236023
Charge:Leaving the area without a permit. You read the definition of the violation and wonder how quickly Jews have turned from prisoners of the ghetto to goalkeepers. Try to imagine the panic of a man leaving home without the proper documentation, as he tries to provide for his family, and then his embarrassment when arrested and required to pay a fine.
Atty. Haled Al-Araj tries to reach an agreement. This does not always bring the case to an end: our colleagues tell us that often sentences that result from plea bargains are transferred to the police, and they decide - according to their own criteria - what happens after the man is released from prison: will he be barred from entering Israel, and for how long? These “criteria of the police commissioner “ is one of the best guarded secrets.
Two clients of Atty. Talia Ramati as an example
Muhannad Mahmoud Ahmad Ajaera - ID 401807755
Muhannad is a resident of Aida Refugee Camp. He is 18 years old and a carpenter’s apprentice. He was released on 3000-shekel bail.
He is accused of throwing objects. The indictment says: “throwing rocks at security forces during “Protective Shield” operation in 2014. He was arrested in August this year.
The judge approves the plea bargain due to the defendant’s clean record and difficulties in proving the case.
Penalty: 30-day prison time (which coincide with time already spent in prison), and 6 months suspended sentence for 4 years.
Wael Shukat Abed Alrazek Hatib - ID 401384854
A resident of Bil’in, accused of conspiracy to sell military materiel.
Talia Ramati - of Gaby Lasky’s law firm - has reached an agreement with the prosecution in both cases. The legal procedure was short in this case. The sentences included fines, though under different conditions.
In these cases the bail sum already paid was larger than the fine.
The defendants or their families are eligible to be reimbursed for the difference, but we know the hindrances a Palestinian faces when trying to retrieve money from the court’s coffers. Atty. Ramati knows this too. Thus, for the first time, we heard a defense attorney promise that she would retrieve the money and pass it to the young men.
Mahmoud Abed Alrahman Hassan Abu Sel - ID 860108505
Defense: Atty. Ilya Theodori
Mahmoud walks with crutches. He is a resident of Al Arub Refugee Camp. He is accused of manufacturing and throwing a fire bomb during “Protective Shield” operationn.
Sentence: 22 months in prison starting with the day of arrest plus 12 months suspended sentence for 5 years.
His mother tells us that soldiers shot her son in the back, injuring his spine.
Quosai Aiman Hassan Zamaera - ID 411641509
Accused of manufacturing and throwing an incendiary object.
Atty. Theodori represents him.
Earlier, the boy’s father told us that his son had been in prison for two years. This is strange: this court deals with dozens of similar charges every day; why is his case different than others whose trials were long finished. The five minutes of hearing we witnessed did not clarify why this case has been dragging for so long. The resolution of the case was again postponed.
In the yard, Qusai’s father told us, Did you see? Again a postponement! He had no idea why and had no way of intervening in the process.
It was depressing.
The talk of the day at the waiting area was that Atty. Tariq Bargouth, who represents Ahmad Manasra and other minors, had been arrested on charges of incitement.
I quote from Ynet website: “He published a post on Facebook calling for the removal of cement blocks to build ‘a pyramid of shaheeds’ [martyrs]. Regarding his client Manasra, he warned that ‘his blood will haunt you’. He also called on the Druze ‘not to get carried away by the occupation authorities and not to carry out orders to attack our brethren’.”
After an interrogation, Atty. Bargouth was released under limited conditions.
The police announced that they would act resolutely against anyone who incites and calls for harming innocent lives. Together with the prosecution, the police vowed to impose the law on all who threaten public security.