Funeral of Kiryat Arba car accident victims 311.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
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
Asher and his 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
At the last trial hearing, in the Ofer Military Court
near Ramallah last month, the IDF allowed a group of 10 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 present.
“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 dock.
“There was barely
any Jewish presence [at that February hearing] and the murderers openly received
encouragement from their supporters in the courtroom,” Palmer said.
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 10 at the March hearing, citing space restrictions in the
Palmer said it was essential for the military court system to
see that the Israeli public cares about justice for terror victims.
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 1651 regarding Security Provisions in the West
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
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.
The next trial
date is set for April 18 at the Ofer Military Court.
Michael Palmer asks
anyone interested to contact him at email@example.com.