Ofer

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Observers: 
Hava Halevi, Hagit Shlonsky
Jan-11-2009
|
Morning

Translation: Marganit W.


On both sides of the parking lot hundreds of vehicles are parked, most of
them civilian. Military Policewomen direct the traffic; an unusual
activity is visible in the area.
The entrance to the compound is full of attorneys, but they do not go in.
We enquire; it turns out that there is a general strike of attorneys in
protest of the war crimes perpetrated by the military in Gaza. The lawyers
show up in court, but do not participate in the sessions. So what's going
on in the courtrooms, we ask. The sessions take place as usual, but
without the lawyers. Go in, the lawyers tell us, and if you get a chance,
tell the detaineesinfo-icon that we are protesting outside.


We go in to see how the sessions proceed without the attorneys. The
detainees are ushered in, they are told that their attorneys are absent,
and they are asked if they agree to a postponement. They agree - do they
have a choice?
A new date is set. The detainee is ushered out, and the next one is
ushered in. He is asked if he agrees to a postponement, a new date is set
etc. etc.
We hear the condescending explanations of the judges: Your attorney did
not show up. I have no idea why. Or: Your attorney decided not to come
today. Future historians reading these protocols will conclude that the
judges did their best to get to the truth, whereas those lazy attorneys
neglected their duty to defend their clients... not good at all.

However, a few lawyers defied the general strike and came to the court
to defend their clients.


Attorney Shimon Shavit rejected 11 counts of the allegations against his
client, claiming that there were no evidentiary grounds. The judge
suggested a mediation procedure (which, as I understand it, requires no
evidence).


A lawyer from Nazareth questioned the Arabic proficiency of the police
interrogator.


Several women were waiting outside in the yard. They knew that no trials
were taking place, but they wanted to see their relatives: husband or
sons. It was cold.

Back at the parking lot, we saw three young Israelis with an Israeli flag
getting out of a car: What's going on, we asked, why are so many people here?
They said: the army has called up the reserves. The one holding the flag
waved it and said: We're going to Gaza to kill Arabs.