Ofer - Appeal, Minors

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Vivi Sury, Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


Na’il Bargouti, the longest serving prisoner - 36 years served – is back in prison with a life sentence plus 18 years


Na’il Bargouti was arrested in 1978 and sentenced to life in prison for murder.

He was released in 2011 as part of the Shalit Deal.

He then married Iman Naffi (who had also served 10 years in prison).

In June 2014, after three Israeli boys had been kidnapped, Bargouti was arrested on charges that he had violated the terms of his release.

59 other prisoners released in the Shalit Deal were also arrested.

It was claimed that Bargouti had participated in a rally of Kutla Islamiya (Hamas students organization) and had received money from Hamas.

His attorney, Meirav Houri, claimed that he had been invited to talk about his prison experience and received no money.

In May 2015 the military court rejected a request to send him to prison for life, stating that he had not violated any law, according to the “Security Legislation”. However, the court accepted that Bargouti violated the law forbidding receiving money from a terror organization and sent him to prison for two and a half years. An appeal to the Supreme Court was submitted and rejected.


Two and half years passed and the state refused to release him. His attorney petitioned and today the court rejected the petition.


Justice Lieut. Col. Nethanel Benishou, who presided over the court, read the decision.

His deputy, Lieut. Col. Zvi Lekah and justice Colonel Ronen Atzmon also officiated.


The attorney sent us the records. We are not lawyers but we noticed the verbal legal acrobatics. The records reiterate that the Shalit Deal was forced on the state, and the judges voiced their displeasure over the release of prisoners.

It should be noted that the state has consistently tried to return to jail the prisoners released under the Shalit Deal.


In the yard we encountered the wife and sister of Na’il Bargouti.  During the sentencing, the sister could not contain herself and inveighed against the injustice of the decision. His wife was later interviewed and claimed that it was a political decision meant to put pressure on Gaza. Like all prisoners, she and her husband are waiting for another prisoner swap.


We talked to many other people in the yard, among them families of 2 underage boys, 13 and 14, from (Refugee Camp) Daheishe, and a 15 year-old boy in jail for 13 months, and awaiting sentencing today.

An old woman told us that 6 of her sons are in jail, and begged us to help her. She was trying to go to Mecca, but was stopped at Allenby Bridge and was told that she is prohibited from traveling.

No need to ask why.