Ofer - Health Problems, Holding and trading of combat materiel

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Yvonne Mansbach, Hava Halevi (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Courtroom 4

Justice Etty Adar has 30 cases in her docket, 11 of them deal with “throwing objects” – generic name for throwing rocks, 8 deal with possession or trading in combat materiel and 5 with membership and activity in an proscribed organization (in which I included a charge I have not encountered before: sedition).

Most hearings are ‘memorandum’ hearings, meaning the accused is brought before a judge for judicial review of progress in the case and to make sure the accused receives proper medical treatment and does not complain of torture during interrogation. Personally, I have never witnessed the court accept such a claim. As for medical treatment, see below.


Maher Ahmad Ibrahim Alami – ID 401734710

Charge: producing and throwing incendiary object

Atty. Ahlam Haddad reports that she is conducting negotiation with the prosecution. The hearing was postponed to a later date.

We learned that Ramadan starts on May 27, so many detaineesinfo-icon wish to avoid being tried during Ramadan and request an earlier or later date.


Iyad Mussa Salame Aldagamin – ID 859610081

Charge: possession and trading in combat materiel.


Atty. Anwar Abu Omar reports that a negotiation is being held with the prosecution, so the hearing was postponed to a later date.


Drar Muhammad Amran Salah – ID 916747272

Charge: Possession and trading in combat materiel


Atty Abu Omar was about to deliver the usual declaration about negotiation with the prosecution, but Drar insisted on addressing the court. The judge tried to explain the rules and regulations but he stood up and would not budge. The judge instructed him to listen to the indictment so he would know the charges against him, but Drar showed no interest. He wanted to talk. The judge said: an earlier court determined that there is sufficient evidence against you. If you deny the charges, the prosecution will summon all the witnesses and we will hear them. Your insistence now has no meaning: in order to change the remand order you need to go to an Appeals Court.

But Drar continues to talk and wave his hands. The interpreter tries to translate both Arabic and Hebrew. The judge repeats: We’ll summon the witnesses – this is the only way to find the truth and we will find it, don’t worry!” This phrase about “seeking the truth” is favored by many judges. But Drar was very worried. He told the judge: I am sick! I tried to kill myself three times last week. He asked to be released and sent home. When the judge heard about suicide, she ordered him to be “under observation” at the detention facility.

Watching the scene, I thought about ‘truth,’ what it means, where it begins and what it includes. Then the judge said, “I am not familiar with the evidence in the case. I will learn it when we hear the testimonies.” And she added, “I deal with the case here, not with the detention” which must have been inscrutable to Drar.

What does this phrase mean to the detainees and their families outside the terminology of the court? The judge distinguishes between “case” and “detention”, but the detainees, the defendants, the prisoners do not care what the judge calls the different stages of the “quest for truth”. To them it all means deprivation of freedom.

In the end, Drar had to listen to the indictment, which described how he and two friends paid 800 shekels to purchase a gun. Here Drar burst out: I have no money for food, how can I buy a gun? But the judge plowed on, describing how it turned out the gun was a dud, so they paid more money to buy an M16, which the accused kept at home. Then, Drar and his friends learned how to make explosives on the Internet. They bought a pipe, two plugs, 10 boxes of 20 nails each, carton of 30 fireworks, and adhesive tape, and they wrapped them around mobile phones.

On 13.11.16 they decided to put the explosive by the pillbox at the entrance to the village, at a post that is not manned by soldiers around the clock. The next day they learned of clashes in Hebron, and decided that “they had to do something”. One of them suggested to target an Israeli vehicle. The three put the explosive charge by the post, covered it with leaves, and when an army vehicle arrived and a soldier got out, they detonated it with the mobile phone. “This is what happened.” There is no information about injuries and what happened after the incident. When did this happen? All this goes to “weakness of evidence” in the case.

Drar denies all the allegations.

The next hearing is on 19.4.17. Witness will be summoned.


Here are a few comments on the legal process and the judge’s inquiry about the detainee’s medical condition. I also have something to say about the principle of “separation of powers”. It is an important principle, but eventually it allows the bureaucrats to rule the system claiming: “It is not my authority.” We have often heard judges order medical treatment for the detainees, but we also heard judges, attorneys, prosecutors, detainees and family members complain that these orders are not carried out. And the judges always respond: This is not my authority. I can give an order for treatment and follow-up, but I cannot check if the order has been carried out. The “separation of powers” is thus proven counterproductive. As for the prison guards, they are not authorized to change the procedures and they are not authorized to report.


What about Drar? An evidentiary hearing will be held on April 19 at 9:30. Please join us at this hearing, because Drar refuses to plead guilty. His two accomplices who allegedly helped him buy arms and place the explosive are also in detention and they will testify. But I have seen all this before: when the evidentiary hearing begins, the accused has already been persuaded by the attorney to plead guilty. We shall see.


Hussam Ali Muhammad Abed Alkader – ID 859619991

Charge: Throwing objects.

Defense: Hassan Darwish

The hearing was postponed.


Muaed Azam Hussein Harahshe – 401368428

Charge: throwing objects

Defense: Akram Samara

It was a concluding session. Muaed pleaded guilty.


Shahab Aldin Ahmad Mahmoud Titi – ID 85398675

Charge: Possession and trading in combat materiel

Defense: Akram Samara