Ofer - Minors, Gag Order

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Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


Morning and Afternoon


Mondays and Wednesdays are reserved for cases of juveniles who come before Justice Lieut. Col. Yair Tirosh. We can attend only after obtaining permission from the families and the attorney. Then our names are entered in the protocol, and we must pledge not to report any detail of the hearing.

Shosh Kahn (From Women for Women Prisoners) and I came to observe the case of an underage girl, and we were able to attend the hearing.

Beforehand we had a long conversation with the girl’s parents.


I can report on the talks we had with members of the family waiting in the courtyard.

As in most cases involving minors in custody, the stories are harsh and sad.

One story is about a Nablus family. The father told us that his 15-year old son and a friend were so incensed by stories about trials at Salem military court, they took spray bottles, filled them with sand and attached a wick. As soon as they got near the court, they were arrested. The friend said he wanted to hurt the judges, so he is accused of attempted murder. The two boys have been in jail for 11 months.

Today, the son’s sentence was supposed to be handed down.  I don’t know what the sentence is: I had to leave at 4:30. The trial had not started by then. “I should be happy that my son is in jail and they did not shoot him,” the father said, “These days the soldiers are so trigger happy.” Other parents surrounding nodded. They all spoke of their concern for their kids. Every time they come across soldiers, the parents are afraid the soldiers might shoot at them.


As always, I am speechless when they ask, “Why are they treating us like this? Why are they doing this to us?” I have an answer only to one repeated question: “What are you doing here?” I say, “ I am here out of solidarity.” (Tad’amoun’ in Arabic.)