Ofer - Minors

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Nitza Aminov (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


The law stipulates that minors over the age of 12 have criminal liability. Yet, what do you do with a girl who’s twelve years and three month old when she is brought to the military court?


Shosh Kahn (from “Women for Political Women Prisoners) and I came to the court to attend the hearing of Abir Abu-Rajab and also to get an update on some of the other girl detaineesinfo-icon. But the hearing did not take place? Why? Because.


Atty. Ilya Theorody, representing one of the underage girls, explained that the hearing had been postponed because for the last three weeks the prosecution had refused to negotiate plea bargains. This means protracted hearings and stiffer punishments for minors.

Indeed, the parents of one girl told us today that the next hearing would be an evidentiary trial where two witnesses will testify for the prosecution.

Theoretically, in an evidentiary trial the indictment can be challenged, but experience shows that evidentially trials can end with a conviction.


In the yard we spoke at length with a Palestinian from Beit Ummar who is a psychologist and a social worker working with DCI (Defense of Children Organization). He told us about his work with the children and their families. He and his wife were at Ofer because two of their sons – one a minor – are in jail.


Back to the title: the hearing of a girl 12 years and 3 months old took place behind closed doors. The parents told us that the girl has mental issues.

6 months ago the principal of her school summoned them and recommended that the girl get psychological treatment. They complied. Our conversation was short because they had to rush home to get medical records testifying to her mental state.

I assume the girl is kept in Sharon Prison with 8 other underage girls, some of whom were shot during their arrest (I am not sure about the exact numbers, they change daily).