Ofer - Minors, Women

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Ilana Hammermann, Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


For International Children’s Day Noam Rotem published an excellent article in  “+972” in which he reports a significant increase in the number of arrests of Palestinian minors.


At Ofer Military Court I come across minor detaineesinfo-icon all the time. Sometimes I have the impression that all the Palestinian children are under arrest (and we have not mentioned East Jerusalem yet!).


There is also an increase in the number of women detainees. Because of overcrowding at Sharon Prison, three underage girls were transferred to Shikma Prison, where they are alone, under harsh conditions and without any support from other adult prisoners.

One woman from Jilasoun Refugee Camp told us that two of her sons, 13 and 15 year old had already been in jail for a week.


For many years a charity organization from Qatar was active in Palestine. This is an international association with a broad spectrum of activities: in Palestine it supported Al Quds University in Abu-Dis, operated a big orphanage in Hebron, invested in solar panels etc. In 2009 Israel outlawed the organization, which did not stop its operation, including crossing into Israel in vehicles carrying the association’s insignia.

In September 2015 the director, the bookkeeper and the secretary were arrested. Today’s hearing focused on the remand extension of the director and the bookkeeper.


Judge: Major Sharon Keinan

Prosecutor: Lieut. Col. Morris Hirsch

Defense: Atty. Jawad Boulos


Detainee: Joda Deeb Ibrahim Jamal,  ID 86096195 - Case 6011/15

Detainee: Fadi Bahjat Abed Al Fatah ManasraID 914129002


The prosecutor requested remand extension until the conclusion of the proceedings, since the accused headed an unlawful organization that aimed at bringing enemy money into the area.

The defense explained that the Qatari association was legally registered with the Palestinian Authority in 2009 and operates legally around the world. The two detainees were hired after they had answered published tenders.

Fadi Manasra came from Qatar with his family. He wouldn’t have left his position in Qatar and brought his family over had he thought that the association was illegal.

Joda Jamal has an Israeli ID and lives in Beit Hanina.

The defense mounted a very impressive defense. He pointed out that the association had been openly active and its workers crossed from Qalandiya into Israel without ever being stopped. He wondered why they were suddenly arrested now.

Part of the problem in this case is that Najwan Odeh, the secretary of the association has appealed the remand extension decision. Her attorney, Ismail Tawwil petitioned on her behalf, citing different arguments than those presented by Atty. Boulos. The appeal was denied.

The catch in this case is that the judge decided that he had to accept the decision of the appellate court, “since the legal issues were debated at the military court of appeals, my hands are tied and I have to follow the other court’s directives.”


I am not a jurist, but I find this baffling. If this is the case, what’s the point of the hearing and all of Atty. Boulos’s arguments? So I consulted legal experts and they told me that the judge in fact had leeway in the case and could come to an independent decision. Apparently, he chose to take the easy way out and accept the earlier decision by the court of appeals.