Ofer - Release on Bail, Stone Throwing
Translation: Marganit W.
Justice Kedar:”When security forces come to demolish a person’s home, it’s hard to imagine that person merely standing by holding signs protesting the demolition.”
The hearing today centered on a request for alternative to detention for a young man from the village of Arab-al-Ramadin.
In 2009 Amira Hass wrote about this village: “this settlement was created in the fifties by Bedouin refugees evicted by Israel from Beersheba area. They bought and leased land from the village of Habla, and for 20 years they have been waiting for their return to the Negev.
The village is not included in any master plan; it is trapped in an enclave surrounded by the separation wall near Alfei Menashe. The civil administration offers its residents, refugees from 1948, building permits in exchange for abandoning their land and moving East.
Since 1995 the village is included in Zone C.”
Judge: Lieut. Col. Shmuel Kedar
Prosecutor: Lieut. Ely Neumann
Defense: Atty. Ahlam Haddad
Detainee: Muheeb Kassan Salim Zajarna - ID 402304992
Atty. Haddad requests re-examination of the decision to detain her client until the conclusion of the proceedings.
Here is a brief summary of the event:
Agents of the Civil Administration, accompanied by police, arrived at the village and began cutting electric wires. The residents were furious, and Muheeb threw a big rock at a policeman. The latter was not injured and immediately proceeded to subdue Muheeb.
After a long debate the judge handed down his decision. Here are some quotes. I urge you to read the protocol [Hebrew] of the hearing. Since it is long, read at least the final decision, which includes statements not often heard in a military court.
“In order to properly comprehend the sequence of events, one needs to know the historical background: In 2009 the state issued the first demolition order for houses built illegally; after much debate, in 2013, the residents were handed a demolition order. For two years the order was not enforced. Then on 7.5.15 suddenly security forces showed up and began carrying out part of the order, i.e., destroying the electric cable.”
Justice Keidar voiced his outrage at the fact that administration agents arrived unannounced and that the residents were not allowed to immediately contact their lawyer. He also resented the fact that policemen were not wearing helmets, which might have prevented the light injury the policeman suffered, and which further exacerbated the situation.
The judge concurred with the prosecutor that there is an Appellate Court decision that when aggression against security forces occurs, the perpetrator should be detained until the conclusion of the proceedings, EXCEPT UNDER VERY SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES. The judge opined that very special circumstances obtained in this case, and he cited precedents of people fighting for their homes (evictions from Yamit, Amuna and Neve Amal), where detainees were kept for a short time, not until the conclusion of the proceedings.
The judge ordered the detainee released under the following conditions:
Third party guarantee (by someone with an Israeli ID or entry permit to Israel) for 5000 shekels.
As mentioned earlier, it is worth reading the judge’s decision in the protocol.