Ofer - Stone Throwing, Minors

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Hava Halevi, Norah Orlow

Translation: Miriam Erez

Room 7, Remand Extensions

Judge Eran Laufman presiding

 1.Mahmud Abu-Snina, file no. 3895/07

Lawyer: Anwar Abu-Omar

Prosecutor: Sagì Greenfeld

The detainee is accused of disseminating material and possessing property belonging to an unlawful association. He “has a past”: In 2001, he was arrested and tried for the same offense, and faces six months’ probation. The unlawful association is Hamas, and the prohibited material was 17 booklets and two posters found in his car. Because this is the third time that he has committed these offenses, the prosecutor has requested his detention.

The judge, speaking on behalf of both the prosecutor and the defense counsel, emphasized that when the detainee saw the IDF Jeep coming toward him, he made a U-turn and tried to flee. This attempt to flee (which turns out to be completely reasonable and justified in the case of someone who knows the IDF and its rules of engagement), is perceived by the judge and the prosecutor as a sign of dire circumstances, i.e., the accused knew that he had done something forbidden.

It appeared that the lawyer was not familiar with the case; he requested a postponement in order to familiarize himself with the material. Case postponed until Sunday December 30, 2007.


2. File no. 3834/07, three 17-year-old cousins of the al-Sheikh family of Bidu.

Lawyer: Akram Samara

Two family members, apparently cousins, sat in the back row; we spoke to them a bit.

All three accused were apprehended at mid-day from their yard. They are charged with throwing rocks at an IDF Jeep and at the fence. The soldiers who apprehended them claimed that from the moment of the stones being thrown until their apprehension, there was uninterrupted eye contact. In a second testimony, the version changed to “almost uninterrupted eye contact”. When they were apprehended, their hands were covered with dust and one of their hands was scratched (this groundless statement was used to justify and bolster the accusation of stone-throwing).

Lawyer: The evidence in this case is worthless, and the identification is errant, flawed, and misleading.

Verdict: At this point in the proceedings, no witnesses or proof is being heard. There is no need for them to validate the arrest. Despite apparent contradictions in the soldiers’ testimonies of December 12 and December 17, perusal of the report shows that all the suspects stood on a prominent hill at the time of their arrest, and could be seen clearly.

A continuation of the hearing is set for February 4, 2008.


3. Malek Sami al-Jundi

Lawyer: Iyad Misk

This is the minor whose hearing Hagit S. asked to follow. No family members were present, and the accused, aged 15, was not brought in. He is charged with stone-throwing. The lawyer and the judge agreed that they would try to arrive at an agreement by Sunday. The accused will be brought into court at Ofer on Tuesday January 1, 2008.

 4. Ahmed Fatah Allah Salhab, file no. 5966/07

Lawyer: Anwar Abu-Omar

The charge―membership in an enemy organization―is based on a relative’s testimony. The accused is about 40, married with children. He owns a garage and does construction work in the settlements. His accuser, his brother-in-law’s brother, said in the investigation that in the January 2005 elections, the accused oversaw Hamas balloting stations.

The lawyer says that this occurred three years ago, before Hamas was declared a forbidden association, and that the accused is not and was not a Hamas member in any case. In this context, the phrase kawasma ruling was uttered several times, apparently a court decision that serving an enemy organization is a crime.

The accused, who requested and was granted the right to speak, stated anxiously that his only crime was that he voted in the elections like two million others.

Verdict: The accused can be released on the following conditions:

a. A 10,000 cash deposit as a guaranty that he will appear in court when summoned.

b. A third-party unrestricted guaranty of two guarantors who earn above the average Israeli salary

c. Twice weekly reporting to the Hebron police, on Sundays and Wednesdays between the hours of 9:00 and 12:00


If these conditions are not fulfilled, the accused will be detained until further notice.

The prosecutor naturally requested a 72-hour delay for the purpose of submitting an appeal. The lawyer objected, but his objection was overruled. On Sunday we shall find out if plaintiff submitted the appeal, or if the accused was released under the aforementioned draconian conditions.

We asked for the minutes and received them.