Ofer - Interrogation of Witness, Popular Struggle
Translation: Marganit W.
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck – it is a duck.
The Trial of Issa Amro – A Case of Political persecution.
Judge: Lieut. Col. Menahem Lieberman
Defense: Atty. Gaby Lasky
The continuing saga of the political persecution of Issa Amro.
In 2003 Issa and a group of friends established a community center in Hebron, where courses in English, Hebrew and art were taught, and lectures on non-violent resistance were delivered. The youngsters also renovated houses in Hebron. In 2008 they changed the group’s name to “Youth against the settlement in Hebron.” Issa and his friends conduct many tours around Hebron.
Not surprisingly, Issa’s non-violent activity is a thorn in the side of the settlers and their subordinates (i.e., the army).
In 2016 Issa was charged with several violations going back to 2013 – all of which have long been concluded. His attorney has long claimed that this constant dredging up of old charges (all of which ended in his release) amounts to political persecution.
Today two more witnesses for the prosecution were interrogated. The first was a 10-year veteran volunteer for “Emergency Unit” who claimed that his group’s mission is to react to events. However, from Atty. Lasky’s question it became absolutely clear that Palestinians cannot report on events to the “emergency unit” or to any security officer.
From the interrogation it transpired that on 6.8.2010 settlers arrived at a place called Hill 18, where the Palestinian Zaatari family lives. They tried to invade the house. A group of Palestinians (including Issa Amro, who had a camera) tried to prevent the settlers from entering the house. A unit of Border Police showed up and arrested Issa, claiming that he had pushed a civilian.
The other witness was a security officer who upon hearing of the incident rushed to the place. There was nothing new in his testimony.
At that point the prosecution rested.
The defence will be heard on 17.2.19.
Many journalists attended the hearing; they heard more details of the political persecution from Issa and his attorney.
I’d like to mention, that on 11.12.18 there was a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court: a compensation claim by Issa Amro for being falsely arrested while conducting a tour in Hebron.
Issa won that case and was awarded compensation and court expenses.