Ofer - Release on Bail, Stone Throwing

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Ivonne Mansbach, Hava Halevi (reporting)

Translation: Marganit W.


Courtroom 7  


Justice Lieut. Colonel Menashe Vahnish

Prosecutor: Vital Hausman

Defense: Atty. Munzer Abu Ahmad


Defendant: Daud Mahmoud Khalil Rian – ID 906422761




Under discussion today is the defense’s request to find alternative for detention, i.e., release the detainee to his home until his trial. There are two reasons for the request: Daud’s physical condition and the insufficient evidence against him, which the defense claims, do not justify detention until the conclusion of the proceedings.

Daud Rian was brought into the court in a wheelchair: he is incapable of walking. The prosecutor, reading from the indictment, states that a soldier shot him and – luckily! – he fell down before he was able to throw the fire bomb. Whose luck was it? The terminology used by the court reflects the insensitivity of the prosecution to the detainee’s humanity. The defense objected to the use of “luckily” and asked to strike it from the protocol.

The judge responded that he saw nothing wrong with the prosecutor’s arguments. Would his reaction be the same if the shooter were Palestinian and the victim an IDF soldier?

Doud Rian is charged with two counts: throwing a rock and throwing a firebomb. He admits only the first charge.

Two soldiers testifying for the prosecution depicted a very dramatic scene: Daud was holding a firebomb in his hands, and the two soldiers, after consultation, decided to shoot him. As the prosecutor said, “luckily” they shot him and he fell down.

And where is the flaming firebomb, the defense asked. When Daud fell, the firebomb presumably fell too. Were its remains presented as evidence? Were Daud’s fingerprints found on it? This highly relevant piece of evidence is not in the file. Daud admits he threw a rock at the soldiers but denies that he tried to throw a firebomb.

The honorable judge accepts the first statement (admission) but rejects the second (denial). The court finds the soldiers’ evidence credible. According to the judge, those soldiers were on the scene because they happened upon a “disturbance of the peace”.

Happened. What was the army doing there? How come they “happened” to be there? Knowing the reality there, we know that the army was the only reason that there were “disturbances”. The army disturbs the peace by entering the village, not by chance. The language reflects the distortion of reality.

We were not at the site and did not witness the incident, but this report, like many others written by our colleagues does not deal with “what really happened on the ground” but with the complete identification of the military court with the objectives of the occupation and with its use of a language that blurs truth and lies.

This is how the story sounds: Daud Rian recounts that he was sitting at home with his family, his wife and four children, when he heard that the army had entered the village. He ran to the mosque. In his statement to the police he said that “he was ready to die as martyr because the army kills women and children.” This is an obvious truth. Both the prosecutor and the judge stress the “ideological background”of Daud’s acts. His admission that he is willing to be a martyr (“shaheed”) strengthens the evidence against him.

The prosecutor: “We must examine the defendant’s acts in view of the ideology behind it…” The judge added that the “ideological teaching” strengthens the case against him.

What about the judge and the prosecutor? Don’t they have an ideology that justifies the occupation? Why else are they sitting in this court? Saying “luckily, they shot him” is also ideologically motivated.

So far, the defense’s request to release the defendant for medical reasons has neither been rejected nor accepted. Medical records need to be presented that testify to the severity of the injury. Then the court will determine if his medical condition prevents him from repeating the offense or allows him to throw rocks and other objects.

In the end it all boils down to red tape.

The hearing will resume on Wed. 20.1.16.