Ofer - Appeal, Providing Shelter

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Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


Vindictiveness in the court


Judge: Lieut. Col. Hanan Rubinstein

Defense: Atty. Munther Abu Ahmad


Remand extension hearing in the case of

Suhair Bargouthi.


The prosecution requests a 6-day extension to complete the indictment.


Suhair, 62,is the wife of Omar Bargouthi and the mother of Aassem, Aassef, Muhammad and Saleh. The Shabac claims that Saleh is the one who perpetrated the attack in Ofra. He managed to flee, but then was caught and killed. The family has a different version of events. They maintain that Saleh was caught alive, but several hours later they were told of his death.


On 14.1.19 I reported on Aassef Bargouthi’s hearing, where the prosecution moved for an administrative detention. This was approved after 3 days and the detention lasted three months.

Let me reiterate: administrative detention is applied in cases where the prosecution does not have enough material for an indictment. It should be properly called preventive detention!


The father, too, received a 4-month administrative detention. The son Aassem Bargouthi is also detained.


Two days ago Suhair was arrested from her home and put in solitary confinement at Sharon Prison.


The prosecution charges her with offering shelter and with failure to prevent a crime.


From the protocol: the suspect and her son Mahmoud Bargouthi, were taken by Mahmoud Mashal to Jawadat’s house, where Aassem (suspected of carrying out the shooting in Ofra and Givat Assaf) was hiding. The suspect met with Aassem and pleaded with him to give himself in. The prosecution claims that the fact that she was driven to the meeting should have made it clear to her that those men where aiding and abetting Issam. Not reporting the meeting is in itself an offense of giving shelter and failure to prevent a crime.


Atty. Abu Ahmad explained that Suhair did not plan to meet her son. She was asked to join in a ride. Moreover, the jailed husband was given a phone by the Shabac and ordered to call his wife. He did, and told his wife to ask Aassem to surrender to the police – this was the father’s order! After talking to her husband, she had no contact with the people sheltering her son. Thus, there is no reason to charge her with offering shelter.

Moreover, Suhair attended all the hearings of her son at Ofer. If she were wanted, why didn’t they arrest her then?

The prosecution has material from 6.1.19, which it presented today. Why was she arrested only now?


In his decision, the judge accepted the version that the detainee asked her son to hand himself over to the police, but he found her guilty of collaboration after the fact. However, he agreed that she does not pose serious danger that warrants continued detention.

He ordered her released on 6,000 shekel bail with a third party warranty of 10,000 shekels by an Israeli citizen or resident.

The release was delayed by 72 hours to allow the prosecution to appeal.

As far as I know Suhair Bargouthi is still in detention.


More about vindictiveness: before I left home that morning I had read about the demolition of two houses of the Bargouthi family – the mother’s and one of the sons. For years, security experts assert that demolitions do not deter terrorist attacks, perhaps they even encourage them.