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Norah Orlow (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Today, too, Palestinian families were barred from passing through Beituniya Checkpoint [See Ofer report from 24.12.09]. The authorities (Military Police??) decreed that from now on families visiting their loved ones in jail or at the Ofer military court will not be allowed to use this checkpoint.

There were no visitors in the compound today.

Attorneys who use Bitunya crossing were also absent from court today.

The attorneys who were present had intended to lodge a complaint with the High Court of Justice and refused to attend the sessions without the families' presence. As a result of their boycott, there were no hearings today.

The only hearings which took place were appeals.

Atty. Avigdor Feldman representing one of the appellants explained to me that he had decided to represent his client after all, in order to spare him another year in jail. However, he pointed out to Justice Benishu that the situation at Beituniya Checkpoint was unconscionable. The judge relied that the problem was being taken care of.

The situation requires an urgent solution: there is no alternative crossing point for the Palestinian families. We have commented before about this blatant lack of cooperation between the army and the military courts. One wonders if this is incompetence or tendentiousness.