Ofer - Stone Throwing, Students
Translation: Marganit W.
What happens when the victim is fed up (cont.)
Today we heard the concluding arguments of the prosecution and the defense in the evidentiary hearing of
Here’s a short recap:
Ibtihal is a student at the Kadouri Agricultural College, situated near Al-Aroub Refugee Camp.
On 25.4.18, Ofer Ohana, a hyper active Kiryat Arba settler, was driving on Rte. 60. He stopped at the entrance to Al-Aroub, entered the college and alleging that his car had been pelted with rocks, demanded to photograph the event.
He was armed, and when he began to film the students, Ibtihal asked him to stop.
In the film presented to the court he is seen holding his phone almost to her face. You could also hear curses. Soldiers arrived, Ibtihal complained to the commander. An unidentified Palestinian was also filming the scene.
Ohana then entered the lecture halls. Ibtihal, having distanced herself from the scene, now came back, picked up a rock and threw it in his direction. It missed.
Ohana lodged a complaint (thus in the protocol he is referred to as the complainant) and Ibtiham was arrested.
She has been held at Sharon Prison since then.
The closing arguments were heard today before Judge Lieut.Col. Sebastian Osovsky.
We cite a part of the prosecution’s long summation:
The judge asked the prosecutor about Ohana’s entry into the college: did he have authority to do so.
The prosecutor replied: “The question whether the complainant had authority to be there or not is irrelevant.”
Another argument the prosecution advanced: “the accused and her counsel called Ohana “setter”. Ohana claims that this is a pejorative term among Palestinians in the region, regardless of the fact that he himself is proud of being one.”
In response to the judge’s question, she added, ‘We admit that there was some measure of provocation from the complainant, and that harsh words were uttered and that he focused his camera on the accused…”
Atty. Akram Samarra pointed out that no legal proceedings were opened against the complainant and that he was interrogated by the police only on 26.4.18 and was asked only one question: “What’s your response?” His answer: “I did not touch her, although I was repeatedly attacked.”
(In a video published on social media you see Ibtihal lying on the floor, after Ohana shoved her shoulder and pushed her to the ground). She was treated by medics and spent a day at Hadassah Hospital.)
The defense stressed that Ibtihal had complained to the soldiers on several occasions that Ohana was harassing her; she asked them to remove him and to order him to stop filming.
Needless to say, she was ignored.
In one of the videos shown in court you see Ohana, shoving his phone in Ibtihal’s face, calling her “Bitch” and saying “I’ll take care of these bastards!”
The defense quoted Ibtihal saying at her interrogation: “I did not mean it,” implying that the “psychological component” (namely pre-meditation, which would increase the severity of the indictment) was not present.
The defense conceded that at one point Ibtihal had had enough, she was fed up with the curses, the harassment, the soldiers’ indifference, so she picked up a rock and threw it. He argued that she felt threatened, and her action should be construed self-defense. He brought up again Ohana’s size and the fact that he was armed.
Decision: the case will be submitted to examination and decision. The sides will be notified of the date.
Ibtihal’s parents were in court. The mother told us that she could not follow the proceedings, because of the translation. This is a perennial painful problem: The interpreter translated it for Ibtihal, but his words could not be heard in the court.