Ofer - Women, Terror Attacks
Translation: Marganit W.
The “situation” as it is reflected in the military court
In all my years at Ofer, I have never seen the place so crowded. Clearly, this is a result of the many detentions carried out these days.
In the courtyard I heard about children being arrested, about people who have worked for years in Israel, but when their son is arrested, they are barred from crossing the checkpoints (without being given any reason!) They ask me for answers, but I have none.
Another phenomenon linked to the “situation” is an increase in the arrests of women. This week a young girl from Ramallah was put under administrative detention.
Hamam Jamal Badawi Maslamais a young man charged that on 5.11.15 he tried to run someone over with a car near Al Aroub Refugee Camp. Maslama turned himself in the next day, claiming it was an accident.
This is an evidentiary hearing, but the witness has not shown up.
In the dock sat someone accused of a stabbing attempt in Jericho. I was sitting next to lawyer in training Hafez Bournat. I asked him jokingly: Stabbing attempt?! How come he is still alive? Hafez said, “Well, this was 3 months ago.”
Shosh Kahn (From Women for Women Prisoners) and I came to observe the hearing of Najwan Odeh. She was arrested on 7.9.15 in her home in Ramallah. She was secretary of the Qatar Charity Association. The director and accountant of the organization were arrested and are now being prosecuted.
Atty. Safiya was able to arrange for 4 family members – parents and two sisters – to come to the court and talk to the detainee before the judge came in. This is quite unusual. As soon as Najwan entered the court she told one of her sisters to write down names and details of other female prisoners; she gave her the phone number of a radio station where messages from prisoners are broadcast. She would not talk about herself before she was done giving all the messages. Najwan’s mother has rheumatism and serious knee problems; she could barely walk to the court. After the hearing, when Najan was allowed to kiss her mother’s hands (again, something never seen in this court) the mother collapsed crying bitterly.
The next hearing is set for 2.12.15.
Among all the atrocities that take place here, the Prison Authority is decorating the place. Acrylic glass has replaced the fence that separates the waiting room from the courts. The Prison Authority representative tells me they will continue to decorate and are planning to add potted plants. Great!