Salem - Stone Throwing, Holding and trading of combat materiel

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Yifat Doron, Lea Reichman, Ana Netzer Shai, Dafna Banai (reporting)


Translation: Tal Haran


The depressing sense of “Big Brother is watching” pervades the whole place, from every watchtower, observation post, every corner and staircase. Walking into the courthouse: the exposed “sleeveinfo-icon”, inspections at every point along the way, questions, locked doors – what happens behind them?

In one of the rooms, a young female soldier addresses an elderly Palestinian woman accompanied by her spouse – in Hebrew. The woman does not understand Hebrew. The soldier is cross. The spouse answers instead of the woman, in halting Hebrew. The soldier takes this as a personal insult and yells at him: “Whom do you think you’re talking to? How are you talking to me? [This is the gist of her words, not verbatim]. He, in all likelihood fearful, tries to make excuses and explain softly…


We go down the steps into a small yard exposed to the sun, reminiscent of prison yards, barbed wire fences, walls in between, a puddle of filthy water dripping out of a tap, probably for a long time now, surrounded by flies and mosquitoes. A bit of shade next to the stinking puddle. Two youngsters sit there on the ground, quietly conversing and smoking. A single toilet for women and men, next to it – a water cooler, and a basic facility for washing hands. A caravan that looks as if it had been lifted out of some Jewish settlement in the West Bank, fitted inside with waiting benches and air conditioning. Youngsters stand in front of a locked gate, waiting to be called in. In the meantime the sun scathes everyone - some of them protect their heads with a piece of paper or just the palm of a hand.

The soldier on loudspeaker calls out the name of a detainee whose trial time is near, and the crowd outside repeats the name so people sitting inside the caravan could hear it…

Everything shows misery and disrespect. A depressing and unbearable sense of contempt and humiliation. For the glory of the State of Israel.


First court session:

Sireen Khaled Rashid Sawafta, ID 850389560, 25 years old, from Tubas.


Judge: Major Abraham Jacob Zada

Military prosecutor: Lieutenant Liran Cogan

Defense: Attorney Adel Samara


The indictment is read to the court:


Five charges (from memory, according to the written charge sheet):

1. Holding a firearm – a friend of Sireen’s brought along an M-16 rifle and Sireen waved it in the air while the friend (also in custody) photographed  this with her cell phone. She then returned the gun to him. Sireen posted the picture on facebook.

2.Holding a firearm – Sireen went out of town with the same friend, and they shot once in the air.

3.Contact with an enemy agent – an activist in the PFLP approached Sireen via internet and suggested she join the organization. She refused.

4.,5. Arms dealing – someone approached Sireen and inquired about the price of that weapon. She made the inquiries and mentioned the price. She also contacted someone in Tul Karem on the same matter, but nothing further had been done.


The whole affair seems to me the folly of an immature girl.


The judge asked Sireen about the treatment she gets in custody and whether she has any complaints. She complained about her treatment during questioning and about there not being a female soldier present in her session, as she was alone with men.


The prosecution asked for extension of custody until the end of proceedings.

The judge extended her detention by 8 days.

He sums up his ruling: “Basic evidence links the defendant with suspicions against her”. Also, “grounds of posing danger and escaping judgment”.

The court agrees to the defense’s request to appeal about her detention extension.

The next session will be held on 26.6.13.


Throughout the court session, Sireen’s mother murmured prayers and silently wept. When the session was over, the mother and brother approached the partition between the court and the visitors’ part of the hall, and were allowed to shout some words of support to Sireen. Then Sireen was removed from the courtroom in order to be taken back to detention.


Ali Kanbar – ID 854879046 –about 22-years old.

Represented by Atty Mustafa Azamta

He is charged with producing explosive charges, throwing stones, hostile activity against the security of the region.

Basic evidence links the detainee to the suspicions against him.

Custody is extended for another 8 days in order to present charges.

Appeal can be presented within 30 hours.


The detainee’s old mother weeps, her heart goes out to her son. She wants to go over and hug him, but is not allowed to do so, only from a distance.

Duration of the session: 5 minutes.


Amjad Munzer Hassan Wadi, ID 950336180 – about 30-years old, dressed in prison garb.

Defense: Atty Fares Abu Hassan

Request for 3 days extension of custody. The judge agrees. Apparently this is sufficient time to draw up charges.

The suspicion of felony is not specified… However, “Basic evidence indicates…” The judge: “The number of days of extension, namely 3, is adequate for the range of material in the file. I am sure this detention is reasonable under the circumstances.”

Duration of session: 3 minutes


Two 30-year olds:


Mohammad Basem Musa Najar, ID 936532290

Sa’id Basem Musa Najar, ID 948916481


Represented by Atty Sani Shaikis who has a long talk with them before the session opens.

They are charged with holding stolen property… A felony according to Jordanian criminal law of 1973, as well as holding property suspected of being stolen, also a felony by Jordanian law.

The prosecutor requests a 2-day extension of custody in order to study the file and evidence.

One of the two suspects explains to the judge that not he is the thief, but policemen in pursuit of the escaping thieves entered his home and arrested him.

Duration of session: about 10 minutes.