Ofer - Interrogation of Witness, Minors
Translation: Marganit W.
Judge: Lieut. Col. Menahem Lieberman
Prosecutor: Lieut. Barak Dvir
Defense: Ilya Theodory
Naheel Abu Aysha
See previous report from 18.6.13
Naheel was arrested in her home on 14.3.13 and has been detained at Sharon Prison ever since. This time, too, Shosh Kahn from Women for Political Prisoners” attended the trial. Atty. Theodory requested a deferment to negotiate with the prosecution regarding changing the indictment.
Azmat Muhammad Mahmoud Kazmar, ID 94811420 - Case 4589/21.
Azmat Kazmar is charged with being a member of the Popular Front [for the Liberation of Palestine] in 2006-2007 and with providing services for the organization: on 28.7.12 he delivered a speech while covering his face with a mask. In his speech he is alleged to have incited his listeners to attack soldiers and carry out military actions.
The prosecutor requested prison sentence of twelve months and a day plus a 6000-shekel fine and 6 months suspended sentence for 5 years, adding that there is difficulty in providing evidence because so much time has elapsed.
Atty. Theodory pointed out that the defendant’s contact with the Popular Front has long been severed, and that he has been in prison for a year.
The judge approveed the requested penalty, explaining the reason for the 6-months suspended sentence: “You will maintain no contact with anything that is connected to the Popular Front. For instance, if someone gives you a hat belonging to the Front, you will be immediately returned to jail!”
Judge: Major Shamzar Shagoug
Prosecutor: Captain Avishai Kaplan
Defense: Tarek Bargout
Khalil Ataa Karia, ID 402246514 - Case 4695/13
16-year old Khalil is accused of manufacturing and throwing an incendiary object.
Khalil was visiting Jordan and was arrested at Allenby Bridge on his return.
Khalil denies the allegations. His attorney stated that as soon as the prosecution presents his passport, his innocence will be proven.
The judge ordered the prosecution to present the passport. A date was set for evidentiary hearing; all the prosecution witnesses will be summoned to this hearing on 8.9.13.
Khalil suffers from Type 1 diabetes and needs daily insulin injections.
A week before the hearing, Khalil’s mother approached me in the yard and told me how worried she was about her son’s medical condition and the fact that he may not receive the necessary medical attention. I introduced her to Avi, the officer in charge of detainees at Ofer who assured her that medical treatment in prison is excellent: a medic attends the detainees and makes sure they receive the necessary medications, which are always ‘state of the art’! Avi added that some Palestinians deliberately provoke the security forces so they get arrested and receive the legendary medical attention the jail provides….
Believe it or not!
Defense: Atty. Mahmoud Jabarin
Ward Saber Atabish, ID 402811186 - Case 4040/13
See earlier report from 18.8.13.
Two witnesses testified for the prosecution in today’s hearing. I was finally able to understand the circumstances of the case.
Ward lives with his family in Ein Fawar refugee camp (Jericho area). Near the camp is a spring used by the residents as a source of water. During Ramadan, the residents came – as is their wont – with bottles and containers to fill them with water. Ward was among them.
The first witness, Sergeant Haim Shimonov, described the force sent to the area to ensure that no disturbances to the traffic occur. People came to the spring to fill their bottles. Then kids arrived with no bottles, just to hang around the spring (Imagine!! N.A.) When the soldiers saw people just sitting around the spring, they decided to send them back to the village. Some kids started throwing rocks, whereupon the unit used (escalated) means of riot gear: starting with stun grenade, then gas grenade, then certain devices are being attached to the guns etc.
While some people were chased back to the village and others came to fill their bottles, the witness identified the “young man” (remember, he is only 14.5 years old!).
The cross examination was very long. I recommend reading the attached protocol (Hebrew).
Here are some choice details:
The boy was identified by a pair of jeans torn at the knees, a gray shirt and his EARS!
I could not believe my ears. I checked Ward to see if he had unusual ears – no, he did not.
The identification, by the way, was done from a distance of 70 meters in a white cloud caused by the teargas grenade; Ward was one of 30 boys there.
The second witness, Yoav Stecher, the unit commander, testified about the army’s conduct: “We stood on the other side of the road, so as not to interfere with the locals, as it is their right to draw water and we are there to guarantee that they carry on their normal lives…”
After the break the defendant took the stand. The long and the short of the cross examination is that Ward went to the spring to get water, returned to the village when the soldiers chased the people away, and then returned again to fill his bottles.
The prosecutor tried to verify Ward’s statement to the police.
Ward said that it took him 20 minutes to get from his home to the spring, including a short rest sitting on a rock. He stated that the walk from home to the spring takes 10 minutes; he sat down for 15, then walked 10 more minutes home, 35 minutes in all. Now, a month and a half after the incident, Ward, who does not even wear a watch, and who was detained and interrogated right after the incident, is required to explain the extremely significant time gap!
I could not believe my ears. I wish I had the skill to describe the absurdity of the situation,
The prosecution requested written summations, which may take up to a couple of months.
The defense requested mitigation: house arrest for his client. Today, he is allowed to leave the house only to go to school. It was determined that in addition, Ward would be allowed to go to the mosque on Fridays, accompanied by his father or uncle.