Ofer - Interrogation of Witness, Health Problems

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Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


What happens when young Palestinians try to organize a commemoration to Rachel Corrie

(This was the title of my previous report on this case)


Today I attended a continuation of the case.


Judge: Major Haim Balilti

Prosecutor: Captain Michael Raber

Defense: Atty. Nery Ramati


First defendant: Samer Bassam Hamdi Machlouf – ID 859228934

He is in detention and is present in court.

Second defendant: Muhammad Amjad Muhammad Quwad – ID 860188796 – released and present in court.


Atty. Ramati interrogates the first witness, asking him about pictures he was shown during his interrogation. The witness explains that he was shown a photo in which a shirt covers his face. He has asthma and tried to cover his face from tear gas thrown by the soldiers. The witness does not remember much because he lost consciousness at the event.


The second witness, defendant No. 2, says he is a fourth year student at Beir Zeit University, where he studies computer science. His hobby is photography.

The witness testifies that there was a group of 25 students who went on an outing to plant trees in Rachel Corrie’s memory. He was the designated photographer. They arrived at the area of Qariout, planted the trees and began preparing for a picnic. People from a nearby settlement showed up and started throwing rocks at them. When the barrage continued, the Palestinians decided to leave, but then soldiers arrived, spilled the food and beat up on a young man in the group.

The witness, who had taken a First Aid course, attended to the young man, who had lost consciousness. He tried to push the people away so the man could breathe. A few moments later, the soldiers took the defendant away. One soldier told him to go away, but another brought him back and arrested him.

The defense showed a video. The witness identified himself in the film, as well as the unconscious young man.’

To the court’s question: who took the video, the attorney said he knew the woman who shot it, but she had been expelled from the country and could not testify.

A hearing of the defense’s case  and of the summations of both sides was set for 2.8.15. Some witnesses for the defense could not attend today because they were in Jordan.


Before Justice Lieut. Col. Ronen Atzmon, Atty. Gaby Lasky appealed the sentence given in February in the case of Abdullah Abu Rahmah of Bil’in.

(see report of that hearing)


Abu Rahmah was convicted of disturbing a soldier at work.

The sentence included a 4- month suspended sentence for 3 years in which the accused must refrain from violence or disturbing a soldier at work.

In addition there was a 5000 shekel fine.


Atty. Lasky appealed both the verdict and the sentence. She disputed the evidence and further claimed that Abdullah Abu Rahmah had been recognized by international agencies as a defender of human rights, which is a formal status recognized by international law. States are required to protect people with such status. The penalty meted to Abu Rahmah prevents him from executing his duties as defender of human rights.


Not surprisingly, the prosecutor countered that claiming that because of Abu Rahmah’s special status he makes a point of participating in situations of conflict and violence.

In my opinion, this is Abu Rahmah’s duty: to be present and act in a non-violent manner.

No decision yet.