Ofer - Membership/activity in unauthorized association, Minors

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Ivonne Mansbach, Hava Halevi (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Courtroom 4, Justice Etty Adar

When we came back from Ofer Military Court, we saw on television Mr Shai Nitzan, the State Attorney, deliver a speech at a lawyers conference in Eilat. He talked about democracy, its importance and what constitutes a threat to its existence. Democracy is for Jews. And what is the threat to democracy? In a word: doubting or undermining the judgment and righteousness of the State Attorney’s office and the Supreme Court.

The existence of a separate legal system for Palestinians, that sees every democratic act taking place in the territories, such as demonstrations, rallies, free press etc., as threat and incitement, did not prevent Mr. Nitzan and his colleague Justice Miriam Naor from facing the cameras blithely and warning against undermining democracy.


There were 23 names in the docket, 14 of them suspected of throwing objects or laying bombs, and 7 suspected of membership and activity in an illegal organization.

Does Israeli democracy recognize any Palestinian organization as “legal”?


Atty. Ilya Theodory represented three boys from the village of Hirbata, accused of preparing/throwing/laying a bomb and hurling objects.


Nazar Akrame Fadel Rian – ID 402609150,

Muza’eb Zahir Ahmad Halaika – ID 853569374

Nimer Muhammad Harfush – ID 852407626


This is an evidentiary hearing. But no evidence was adduced. Each case was dismissed in five minutes. At the attorney’s request the hearing was postponed to 4.5.16. Maybe then there will be some evidentiary process.


Muhammad Saadi Mahmoud Hasania – ID 402063077.

A 19-year old, studying for his Matriculation Exam.

He was arrested 5 months ago.

Defense: Atty. Muhammad Shadfan.


Muhammad was arrested on 23.10.15 during a “disturbance of the peace.” He is accused of throwing rocks at security forces. There is a plea bargain.

A comment on “disturbance of the peace”: it is so ubiquitous that it sounds natural. The power and the authority of the military judges derive not only from the fact that they are judges who hand down sentences but because their decisions determine the values and norms by which Palestinians are judged. We have often seen a military judge lecture a Palestinian boy from the podium, advising him to study instead of participate in “disturbances of the peace”. Those “disturbances” are democratic acts of protest by the Palestinians. What do these judges consider “order” and “peace”? A bunch of docile, contented slaves?

Muhammad admitted his guilt and there is an agreement: 6 months in prison from the day of arrest, 2000-shekel fine and 10-months suspended sentence.

In other words, he will be released in a month.


Muhanned Haled Sleiman Abu Awad – ID 851169490

Defense: Attys. Haim Yizhaki and Yahel Ben Oved

We reported this case on 17.11.215.


He is accused of membership and activity in a military unit called Kataab Al Shahid Abu Amar (Yasser Arafat). He met with other activists and they planned several activities: hoisting flags, visiting prisoners’ families, celebrations and festivals.

There is a second charge: leaving the region without a permit. We have often written about “the region” being defined as a prison.

Muhanned’s case has been dragging for a long time. His attorneys have reached an agreement with the prosecution. He admitted the charges, or else the case would have dragged forever.

We were unable to hear the terms of the penalty.