Ofer - Assault of soldier/policeman, Health Problems
Translation: Marganit W.
Court attorneys on strike in solidarity with the hunger strike by political prisoners
For those not familiar with the routines: the prisoners’ families have first to get to a shaded area where they deposit their belongings in pigeonholes. Then names are called out, the gate opens and those called go through the magnetic scanner and have their IDs checked by a guard. Then they are transferred to another room with a magnetometer and are individually frisked. This takes time. Thus, when the names of prisoners/detainees were called out in different courtrooms, family members had not yet been screened, so they were unable to get to the hearings and meet their loved ones.
As soon as the families entered the yard they immediately asked which names had been called. When they realized their names had been called, they tried to explain to the guards and to the interpreters that it was not their fault and that they needed to see their loved ones. We, who are allowed to enter all the courtrooms, also tried to help. It was all to no avail. Explanation that the hearings were short because of the attorneys’ strike did not convince the families. They had left home early in the morning and had to wait in line for a long time only to come up against cruel arbitrariness. They all knew about the strike, but they came anyway for a chance to see their relatives, even for five minutes.
One hearing did take place and ended in a plea bargain.
Judge: Major Haim Balilti.
Samiha Abu Ramila – 39 year old resident of Isawiya, mother of 5.
Samiha was driving through Adam Checkpoint near Jaba. She is accused of attempting to run over a soldier.
The incident happened on 2.2.17. She was shot and later admitted to ‘Shaarei Tsedek’ hospital for one day. As often happens, she was interrogated in hospital.
Atty. Ashraf Abu Snina, who was not in court because of the strike, had given Samiha’s husband the heads up so he could come to court with one of his sons.
The judge accepted the plea bargain and sentenced Samiha to 12 months and a day, plus 12-month suspended sentence for 5 years and, of course, 15,000 shekels fine.
Samiha was accused of assaulting a soldier under aggravating circumstances but also of driving without a license.
Samiha’s husband told us that she was an only child, and that after her mother’s death she developed mental problems. She received treatment for a long time, but he thought the treatment was inadequate. We wanted to talk to the husband some more, but the man (who has a resident’s status) was in a hurry: his employer was waiting outside. Now he will have to work harder to pay the stiff fine.
We left with a heavy heart and with a sense of helplessness vis-à-vis the families’ distress.