Ofer - Stone Throwing, Throwing an Incendiary Object

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Tamar Fleishman (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

"Today is a day of Shanti
", said the security officer.

The guards at the gatesinfo-icon, too, were slow in their actions, and the 15 minutes of meticulous check-up were excruciatingly painful because the noxious fumes from the open sewer nearby almost made us faint.

It turns out that the ‘story' we were told on our last visit to Ofer concerning a prohibition to bring food and drink (http://www.machsomwatch.org/en/ofer_tue_8_6_10_morning) was a fabrication: no way a bread with a "suspicious object" could have been smuggled by a Palestinians, because for many months now - since a canteen was opened here - no solid food or drink has been allowed in by Palestinians.

I watched two trials (almost three):

1. Salah Muhammad Mustafa Ablil - ID 999484249, from Beit Ummar, 25 years old; detained in jail for 14 months.

Charge: throwing rocks and an incendiary object

Judge: Major Hilit Bar-On

Defense: Atty. Haled Al-Arej

Neither side objects to switching judges, from the one who handed down the verdict to the one who will rule on sentence.

The sides have reached an agreement, later ratified by the court, saying the jail time would be 14 months plus a 10,000-shekel fine.

As mitigating circumstances, the judge cites the clean record of the defendant and his difficult life: his mother has terminal cancer (this is backed by medical documents). As for the charge of "throwing an incendiary object" the incriminator did not actually see the act.

After the sentence was pronounced, the defendant hugged and kissed his fellow prisoners sitting next to him awaiting their hearing. His relatives hurried out, then returned after a couple of hours with the receipt for the fine, so they could take Salah home.

Once more, the sentence coincides with the months spent in detention.

2. Arraignment hearing

Defendant: Muhammad Shakar Muhammad Alsharbati - ID 950006924

Charge: possession and trading in combat materiel

Judge: Major Hilit Bar-On

Defense: Atty. Haled Al-Arej

The judge mentions that the charge sheet has been reduced. Left are the following charges:

-Trading in military equipment - the defendant bought a gun and 5 bullets for 9000 shekels and used them to shoot in the air at two weddings.

-On a separate occasion, in A-ram, the defendant borrowed a Kalashnikov to pose for a photograph.

The sentencing hearing was postponed to a later date, and with attorney's agreement was set for 28.6.10.

I entered another courtroom where everyone was waiting for the presiding justice, Zvi Lekah. An arraignment hearing was expected.

The defendant was Aataf Hasin Jaber Abu-Alya - ID 902821941.
The charge: attempted homicide.

We waited twenty minutes. The prisoner, sitting away from his family, conducted a loud conversation, full of giggles, with his mother and wife. The prosecutor and the defense, Atty. Al-Arej, discussed legal issues, the interpreter flirted with the typist and the guard was bored. Every few minutes he assured me that the judge is about to show up.

The judge did not show up. Nobody was in a hurry; only the security officer was impatient. He complained that he was expected somewhere else. At that point I left.