Russian Compound, Jerusalem - Remand Extension, Minors

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Roni Hammerman, Tova Szeintuch (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.

Magistrate Court


Following yesterday’s events [Naqba Day] we decided to go to the Magistrate court because many youngsters from the Jerusalem area had been arrested.

The line at the entrance was very long. Only two members of family of each detainee were  allowed to attend– this applied both to Jews and Arabs.

After going through screening, we looked for the remand extension court for those arrested yesterday and the day before.

Those hearings took place in two halls: Justice Feinberg’s and Justice Irit Cohen’s courts [on the first and third floors]. Many jurists and members of family crowded the entrance to Justice Feinberg’s court. We spoke to Atty. Adnan Odeh who told us, “You should have come Saturday night. Many detaineesinfo-icon were brought in injured: broken arms, broken fingers, facial cuts and severe back pain from beatings with butts.

Atty. Odeh represented 25 detainees on Saturday, 8 yesterday and 10 today.


The first case was of a minor. From earlier visits to the compound we knew that when a case involves a Jewish minor, only people directly connected to the case are allowed in, whereas in hearings of Palestinian kids, the principle of ‘behind closed doors’ does not exist. Roni and I, as well as all the other visitors, were ordered to leave the room. We obeyed. The minor was brought in (together with the other detainees) without a blindfold, for all to see. The door to Justice Feinberg’s court remained open [The halls in this compound are small and hot]. Since the door was open, passers by could pop in and peek in unimpeded. Thus, the case of the boy from Mount of Olives was not accorded the discretion a juvenile deserves.

We ran into a young man from Isawwiya, waiting with his mother for the hearing in the case of two brothers arrested on Friday or Saturday. One of them, 34 years old, needed hospitalization at Hadassah Ein Karem because of blows to the head he had suffered. He was left unattended during the night. The younger brother suffers from a rare disease, and needs medication, which he gets from Sweden. The police told the brother that a police doctor had examined the patient and “everything is fine, he does not need medication from home.”

The young man and his mother are now waiting for the 2 brothers to be brought in for remand extension.

Between the first and third floor we saw the Public Defender on duty, Muhammad Una Bossi running up and down, as he represented many detainees. About 80 people expected to have their remand extended by Justice Feinberg. Only a fraction of them have private attorneys.

Since the rooms are so small, from time to time we were asked to leave, to make room for family members. We observed one case of a 20 year old from Mount of Olives, represented by Atty. Anwwar Abulafiya.

The defense pleaded for leniency for the detainee who is recovering from a car accident. He asked for his client to be released. The father offered to vouch for his son’s appearance when summoned before the court.

The defense pointed to his client’s bruised arm. The judge inspected it saying, “scars from the accident as well as “newer” bruises. The judge was not particularly moved by the blows the detainee had suffered, and extended the detention by 5 more days.

This is a security case involving an attack on police.

80 more detainees were scheduled for remand extensions.

We left the court.