Ofer - Stone Throwing, Danger to Regional Security
Translation: Marganit W.
Courtroom 3: appeals
Judge: Yoram Haniel
Prosecutor: Shlomi Schneider
The session started late, at 10:35 and included 8 cases. We will report on 4, two of them concerning women.
Hiba Mahmud Hassan Hamidat, file 3832/07, in jail for almost a year. She is represented by attorney Mahmud Hassan, who contests the severity of her punishment (32 months in jail plus 10,000 shekels fine).
Hiba is accused of membership in organization the name of which was not mentioned. In his decision, the judge stated that her activity was marked by determination and initiative, and included collecting money for the benefit of prisoners. Her various activities strengthened the members of the organization and require therefore a stiff punishment.
The defense’s appeal was rejected.
Alaaa Halil Hamdan Ahagiga – file: 4489/07.
Appeal by the prosecution.
Alaa took part in a failed suicide attack. She was captured on Dec. 3, 06 and sentenced to 24 months in jail. The prosecutor described the incident and Alaa’s part in the plot, which was to obtain the explosive belt. When the chief instigator of the plot recanted (she was sentenced to 22 months in a plea bargain) Alaa claimed that it was all done in jest, and she had no intention of committing the acts she was accused of.
The prosecutor cited two precedents of failed suicide attempts in which the sentences were 6.5 and 8 years respectively. He also claimed that while the instigator expressed regret, Alaa did not acknowledge any responsibility and did not express regret. A woman who refuses to admit responsibility will be dangerous when she is released after two years, claimed the prosecutor.
Attorney Hassan: The defendant cooperated with the investigators. She should not get a more severe sentence than the chief instigator of the attack.
The judge will hand down a decision later.
The next day counsel reported that the judge rejected the appeal. Alaa was returned to Ha-Sharon prison.
Ibrahim Nimer Tamiya – file 4788/07, released on bail. Present in court with his leg bandaged (in cast?)
The prosecution is appealing his sentence of 7 months in jail, which was obtained in a plea bargain. He is represented by Attorney Ahlam Hadad (at the time he was represented by another counsel).
He is accused of throwing stones. The counsel claims that the description in the indictment is questionable: an Israeli citizen complained about stone throwing. When soldiers arrived on the scene, they found an elderly man throwing stones. The soldiers threw a stun grenade and then a gas grenade (which ended up injuring them) and eventually got in their vehicle and from there shot at the man, hitting his leg and causing irreversible damage. The defendant was taken to hospital and to this day cannot recall the incident. The description is full of inconsistencies regarding the distance between the soldiers and the stone thrower, as well as other details. There were irregularities in the handling of the case. No medical report of the injury was submitted.
Judge’s decision to be handed down later (we will monitor and report. H.S.)
Hamuda Akram Hamuda Jaber – file 3387/07 - a young man from Hebron. He is not in detention and is present in court. A rare procedure in the military court: appeal of a verdict given a year ago in a case of stone throwing, after the accused has completed his 10 months sentence.
Attorney Reuven Tako is appealing in order to clear the man’s record and allow him to obtain permits and licenses that are denied to people with security convictions.
Hamuda Jaber had a stall at the Hebron market where boys gathered for a demonstration, about a 100 meters from a Border Police unit. Hamuda tried to shoo the boys away because they hurt his business. Counsel recaps the testimonies that led to his client’s conviction by Justice Tsahi Almog, pointing out their unreliability and the fact that Hamuda’s own testimony was ignored by the judge. Hamuda’s gestures as he tried to drive away the boys were misinterpreted by a witness to indicate that he was the organizer of the boys’ demonstration. Counsel claimed that in the given circumstances, the accusing policeman could not have identified Hamuda and that his testimony is unconvincing in many instances.
The judge’s decision was postponed.
The list of cases for Courtroom 7 (detainees remanded for x days) included 39 cases. Sessions there were conducted like on a conveyor belt. We left after a few minutes.