An Israeli court explained Thursday the reason behind the summoning of Palestinian child Ahmed Dawabsheh, the sole survivor of an arson attack carried out by Israeli Jewish extremist, Amiram Ben-Uliel, in 2015.
The summoning of Dawabsheh, 10, was perceived to be a ‘strange procedure’, as Ben Uliel was already convicted in May and he was awaiting the final verdict, which was supposed to be issued on July 12.
However, in an unusual move, Dawabsheh, who was five at the time of the murder, was summoned by the Israeli court to testify in a private session without the presence of his grandfather or his lawyer.
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Dawabsheh was asked to appear in court at the request of Ben-Uliel’s lawyer, Asher Ohayon, the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz reported on Thursday.
Ohayon “made the request following an interview with Dawabsheh in the (Israeli) daily Yedioth Ahronoth last month and one with his grandfather, Hussein Dawabsheh in May.” Haaretz reported.
The Israeli lawyer is now claiming that the boy’s description of the events that led to his family’s murder in the Yedioth Ahronoth interview – and other media articles – was different from the way the events were described in the court’s verdict.
“Thirty mental health professionals wrote in an opinion submitted to the court by Omar Hamaisi, the lawyer representing the Dawabsheh family, that testifying would be damaging to the 10-year-old. The court ultimately agreed that Dawabsheh did not have to testify over concerns that it could cause psychological damage. The court decided it could rely on interviews, with the prosecution saying it had found two Arabic-language articles in which Dawabsheh described the attack.”
“It’s a strange procedure,” Hamaisi described the court’s decision to summon the young boy in an earlier media interview, also with Haaretz. “It means that they want to question the child. He was five at the time of the incident, I don’t know what the court expects of him under these circumstances.”.
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“The welfare of the child is the foremost consideration, so we dispensed with his testimony at (an earlier) stage, and he did not relate what his life is like. We’re surprised that the court is now summoning him to testify, even though he’s not part of this case.”
(The Palestine Chronicle)