Ofer - Minors, Palestinians staying illegally in Israel

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Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


Where the declaration “This is not a family visit” is normally heard, suddenly a human gesture.


When I heard the Abu-Maria family summoned, I made my way to the court. The Abu-Marias are one of the largest clans in Beit Umar, and I have many friends among them. Now, however, I saw an old couple – a blind man leaning on his wife. It was the hearing of their son, who’s been in detention for several months now.


During the hearing there was a lively exchange between parents and son. Towards the end, the blind father addressed the judge, Major Kamal Zahar Aldin. He wished to embrace his son. The judge ordered the prison guard to allow the father to hug and kiss the son. The judge also asked Atty. Ahlam Haddad to terminate the proceedings because it is very hard for the parents, in their condition, to attend the hearings. Atty. Haddad said she always tries to deter the parents from coming but they insist.

How else can they see their son?


In another hearing, before Judge Rani Amar, two brothers were told that the (very short) hearing was over and they had to leave. The brothers requested a few more minutes [to see their relative] because they do not have a permit to visit the jail, whereupon the judge said: “This is not a family visit”.


It was a long day: hearings started very late and the courtyard filled with more and more family members. It later transpired that the Chief Military Prosecuter was visiting the premises. But why is it always at the expense of the Palestinians?


There were hearings of the women arrested in Hebron 6 months ago (Saida Bader, Susan Awiwi and Sonia Al Hamouri) – all postponed to later dates.


Fausia Hamed had a short hearing (this is the weird story of the fruit knife found at Qalandiya Checkpoint).

This hearing, too, was postponed. Atty. Akram Samara later told us that he could not figure out what went on there.


In the yard I spoke to an acquaintance from the Abu Dahouk Tribe (Jahalin). He told me that his 14 year old son had been arrested while bringing food to relatives working as guards at Mishor Adomim. He was accused of crossing illegally into Israel.

The boy was released on bail and his hearing was today. It will continue in a few days.


When I left at three, the yard was still full of people.