Ofer - Plea Bargain, Stone Throwing
Translation: Marganit W.
Targeting the village of Nabi Saleh
A few weeks ago a video went viral on the internet: it depicted a masked Israeli soldier grabbing a Palestinian kid from a demonstration in Nabi Saleh and pushing him against a rock. The boy’s mother, sister and other family members eventually managed to extricate the boy.
The Israeli army looked really bad in that film.
The army’s revenge was not long in coming: a collective punishment was imposed on the entire village.
[See article in Electronic Intifada]
Since October, 14 youngsters (including minors) of Nabi Saleh have been detained on various occasions. The charges are similar: throwing rocks and gas grenades (leftovers from devices thrown by the soldiers) at security forces or military posts at nearby Halamish settlement, pillboxes and army jeeps.
Today 14 arraignment hearings were held, where indictments were read to the detainees. They were almost identical, except in the case of a 19-year old boy who had agreed to a plea bargain.
The original indictment had 5 charges, including “carrying, manufacturing and possessing arms”, and throwing gas grenades at a pillbox. The other charges were “throwing objects” on different dates. As a result of the plea bargain only one charge remained, that of throwing objects on one occasion, which the defendant admitted.
Sentence: 7 months jail time, 12 months suspended sentence for 5 years and 2000-shekel fine.
The other defendants did not admit the charges.
Their attorneys, Talia Ramati and Lymor Goldstein asked for a postponement since there are 14 cases, and agreements with the prosecution are under way.
Hearings will continue on 4.1.16.
The presiding judge was Major Sigal Turjeman.The prosecutor was Police Officer Kobi Maza.
As there were 14 cases, many family members and supporters from various organizations attended the hearing. Since they all had requested permits ahead of time, the court could have prepared a larger hall. But instead the courtroom was small, so most of the supporters could not be admitted, except by dribs and drabs, whenever there was a vacancy. All this created tension and confusion in the court, and led to the prosecutor bawling out and yelling at the defendants and the audience.
It was unpleasant and uncalled for.
The waiting yard was overcrowded with family members. Lately, we have noticed an increase in the number of parents and siblings of detainees. This is understandable with the massive wave of daily arrests, especially of youths and kids.