Ofer - Appeal, Incitement

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Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


“System malfunction – the accepted order of events should be: first you write an opinion piece and a decision, and then you issue a declaration that an organization is outlawed. In this case the order was reversed,”

Thus said the judge in the remand extension hearing.


Remand hearing in the case of Alaa Alkhatib (Rimawi), head of Al Kuds television station.


Judge: Lieut. Col. Ami Navon.

Defense: Attys. Khaled Azbarga and Nasser Nubani.


The prosecution requested an 8-day remand extension to complete the indictment. The file contains a Shabac [GSS] report stating that the TV channel is a propaganda agency of Hamas.


The defense cited a decision by Nathanel Benichou (president of the court) to release on bail all the other journalists working at the station, since the proscription of the organization was not properly published. In that appeal, the decision was to detain people only in order to determine the channel’s affiliation to Hamas.

The attorneys reminded the court that the investigation had been concluded: the suspicions remained the same and so did the evidence. They added that the military prosecution adopted the Shabac position, but the latter could not serve as evidence since it was based on classified material.


The detainee asked the defense to tell the court that the channel has been in existence for 11 years, 9 of them in Israel. About a year and a half ago, when the German submarines arrived in Israel, the army spokesperson asked the channel to report on it and even offered to provide transportation.


In his decision the judge apparently forgot that a law court requires evidence. He said, “The opinion was supplied by Amir, an expert with the Shabac. In retrospect it is evident that Satellite Channel Al Quds operates under the auspices of Hamas.”


However, in view of the president’s decision in the appeal, the judge had no choice but to order the release. He invoked Article 84a1, which refers to sedition and incitement against the government.

It was quite amusing to hear the judge read aloud an article detailing anti-government activity, since it referred to “the government of Palestine and the High Commissioner.”

It is a well known fact that the laws in the military courts are, amongst others, based on the Mandatory Law.


The judge ordered the release under the following conditions:

3000-shekel bail,

15,000-shekel guarantee by the detainee

15,000-shekel guarantee by third party.


Naturally the prosecution was allowed to request a delay and to appeal the decision.

aThe appeal was submitted but Alla Alkhatib was released and is already at home.