INTRODUCTION: The trial has opened in the Israeli-occupied West Bank of four Palestinians accused of murdering six Israelis in the West town of Hebron last year.
GV EXTERIOR Nablus court-house PAN TO street
SV Israeli soldiers outside courthouse
SV PAN Sign TO soldiers at checkpoint outside
GV INTERIOR Bench
SV PAN Soldiers checking people entering TO Arab women sitting down
SV Court official talking to soldier
SV Israelis seated in court
SCU Arab woman sitting down
GV & SV Defendants entering courthouse one by one, giving victory sign, sitting down, then ZOOM INTO CU Taha
CU PAN Defendants Shubaki and Alzeidat
SV Defendants standing up. Taha giving V-sign, then told to be seated, sits down
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The trial has opened in the Israeli-occupied West Bank of four Palestinians accused of murdering six Israelis in the West town of Hebron last year. But the proceedings were adjourned after defence lawyers challenged the authority of the court.
SYNOPSIS: The trial, by military court, opened on Sunday (5 July) in Nablus, also on the West Bank.
Israeli troops mounted a stringent security operation outside the courthouse as the proceedings got under way. The defendants are accused of killing six Israelis and wounding 16 others in an ambush in May 1980. In the attack sub-machine guns were fired and grenades thrown at a group of Jewish settlers as they walked home from Friday evening prayers through the predominantly Arab town of Hebron. The attackers managed to escape. Tension had been high for a year before the attack since Jews from a nearby settlement had occupied an old hospital in Hebron.
Relatives of the victims crowded into the court, along with members of the defendants' families.
Then the accused entered. First came Yassir Hussein Alzeidat, then Mohammed Abdul Rahman Shubaki, followed by Persir Muhmud Taha and Adnan Jabber Jabber. The charges allege that the four joined the al-Fatah guerrilla organisation in Jordan, and returned to the West Bank two years ago under orders to attack Jewish settlers. They were arrested last September, four months after the Hebron attack.
In a statement at the start of the trial the defendants reportedly said the victims were 'land robbers' who deserved their fate. The four refused to recognise the court. Their lawyers said it had no authority because the men were prisoners of war. The trial was adjourned awaiting a judicial ruling.