Palmer calls for support in trial of murder suspects (JERUSALEM POST) By JOANNA PARASZCZUK 04/10/12)
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Ahead of a military court hearing in the trial of five Palestinians
charged with causing the fatal crash of his son Asher Palmer and
infant grandson Yonatan, Michael Palmer called again on Tuesday for
public support during the trial.
Asher and his baby son Yonatan were killed when their car overturned
on Route 60, just outside Kiryat Arba, last September. Though the IDF
initially said the car crash was a tragic accident, after a
subsequent investigation they revealed their suspicions that the
Palmers were murdered as a result of rocks thrown at their moving car.
In November, the Military Advocate- General indicted five Palestinian
men, allegedly part of a terror cell formed to harm Israelis, in the
Ofer Military Court in connection with the Palmers’ deaths.
At the last trial hearing, in the Ofer Military Court near Ramallah
last month, the IDF allowed a group of ten members of the public to
accompany Palmer and his son Shmuel to the courtroom.
Palmer said that the strong support he received from the public -
over 100 people contacted him and asked to attend the trial - helped
him and his family through the difficult hearing in the tiny, crowded
military courtroom, at which the defendants´ families were also
"The strong public support at the hearing on March 11 demonstrated
strongly that terror victims and Israeli society at large expect
justice from the justice system," Palmer said, adding that at a
previous hearing in February, he had been upset when the defendants´
families had shouted their support for the five Palestinians in the
"There was barely any Jewish presence [at that February hearing] and
the murderers openly received encouragement from their supporters in
the courtroom," Palmer said.
The military trial hearings in the Palmer case have so far been open
to the public, including the press, although the IDF limited the
number of non-press spectators to ten at the March hearing, citing
space restrictions in the courtroom.
Palmer said it was essential for the military court system to see
that the Israeli public cared about justice for terror victims.
"It is, I believe, very important to show the prosecution and the
court that Asher and Yonatan, and all victims of terror, are
remembered and that we demand
justice for their murderers," he added.
The five defendants – Ali Sa’adeh, Wa’al al-Arjeh, Iyad al-Baw,
Mahmoud al-Baw and Mohammed al-Baw – are charged under the Military
Order regarding Security Provisions (1651) in the West Bank.
According to the indictments, the five men formed a cell to assault
Israelis in revenge for a “price tag” attack on a Nablus mosque
shortly before the killings. They decided to throw rocks from a
moving car at Israeli cars in the West Bank, the indictment alleges,
with the aim of killing passengers.
If the court finds the defendants guilty of deliberately causing the
deaths, it will set a legal precedent, as to date no one has ever
been convicted of murder as a result of rock throwing. (© 1995-2011,
The Jerusalem Post 04/10/12)
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