Ofer - Barred (from meeting with attorney), Interrogation of Witness

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Vivi Sury, Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


A little bit about the meaning of “Membership and Activity in an Unlawful Organization”


An indictment against

Osama Alfahouri

was brought before Judge Lieut. Col. Shmuel Kedar.

Atty. Akram Samara represented the defendant.


There are 7 articles in the indictments:

the first four deal with membership and activity in an unlawful organization, attending a meeting of an unlawful organization, sporting a symbol and holding a position in an unlawful organization.


Osama Alfahouri was head of the students association in Beir Zeit University, representing Kutla Islamiya. This is considered illegal activity: why should Palestinians students have an organization?

It says in the indictment that the defendant, together with 300 students, participated in a march organized by the Kutla Islamiya, and heaven forefend! he was wearing a scarf with Kutla insignia.

This is the third clause: “The defendant was holding a Kutla scarf.”


Articles 5, 6, and 7 are more problematic. [They are repetitive; we have long maintained that the prosecution inflates the articles of the indictment so they will have more bargaining chips in the plea bargains.]

Those articles detail how 2 unfamiliar people contacted Bilal Jamil Hamed (friend of Osama) on Facebook. Bilal and Osama were asked to download all kinds of software, and were instructed to take several actions. Bilal and Osama were required to obtain a plastic box, thermometer, gloves, acetone etc. Bilal and Osama did obtain acetone, plastic box, gloves and cleaning solutions.

At that point, Bilal and Osama realized that they had been asked to prepare explosives, whereupon they cut off communication and stopped following directions.


One charge accuses them of “conspiring to carry, possess and manufacture explosive material (we are always amused by the sequel that says “without permit from the military commander”).


It is important to remember that Osama Alfahouri is the son of Lama Khater, one of the seven women of the “Hebron Women’s Council” who was jailed for about a year at Damoun Prison.

Osama was arrested 10 days before his mother’s release. He was interrogated for more than a month at the Russian Compound, and was barred from seeing an attorney.

His father, mother and sister now come regularly to the hearings at Ofer, and it is déjà vu all over again for them. The father, Hazem, was also in prison several years ago.


There are 8 Palestinians among the 18 witnesses of the prosecution, presumably some are students who were detained and submitted to harsh interrogations that compelled them to talk. We do not know what Osama said, if the charges against him are true, and mostly, what goes on in the mind of someone whose mother was imprisoned for a year because of civic activity.