Ofer - Holding and trading of combat materiel, Membership/activity in unauthorized association

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Vivi Sury, Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


“Trading in Combat Materiel” – sounds serious?


Judge: Major Sebastian Ossovsky


Plea bargain hearing in the case of

Mahmoud Amad Muhammad Shweiki,

who is represented by Atty. Ashraf Abu-Snina.


Mahmoud Shweiki pleaded guilty, or there would be no plea bargain. The revised indictment included one clause: “trading in combat materiel.”


The title above refers to a quote from the protocol: “We also accepted the defense’s claim that the weapon in question is a makeshift one, and there are no details regarding the serviceability of the weapon.”


In his decision the judge said, “Since the weapon was not captured, we accepted the defense’s claim that there is no indication how functional the weapon he sold was.


Penalty: 14 months in prison starting with the day of arrest.

There is a probation penalty from when the detainee was a minor, so he will spend 20 months in prison.

He also received 15-month probation for 5 years for violations involving arms trading.


Then there was another plea bargain hearing, as is the norm in Ofer.


Muhammad Jamil Muhammad Abu Sarhan

Defense: Atty. Munther Abu Ahmad


Abu Sarhan confessed to “membership and activity in an unlawful organization.”


From the protocol: “From March to November 2018 the defendant joined the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine]… met with members of the organization and discussed issues pertaining to it. In December he left the organization of his own accord.”


The prosecutor mentioned “discontinued membership locally, without any activity.”


The second charge is “throwing objects at people and property.”

In December 2018 Abu Sarhan threw a rock at security forces in Bethlehem. How awful!


Penalty: 6-month and a day prison time, starting with the day of arrest.

8 months probation for 3 years for the charge of membership and activity in an unlawful organization and for throwing objects.

3 months probation for two years for attending meetings of unlawful organization.

6000 NIS fine.


Much has been written about the penchant for plea agreements in the military courts. Some complain of delays designed to allow the prosecution and the defense to negotiate the agreements.

It is interesting to compare the original indictments with the few charges eventually agreed upon in the final version.