A court has approved 15-year prisoner Shlomi Dvir’s request to attend his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah next month. Convicted of planning an attack against Arabs in response to Arab murders of Jews, Dvir is generally not allowed vacations – unlike Arab security prisoners.
The court session took place on Tuesday in the Ayalon Prison in Ramle. The news was reported by Honenu, the legal rights organization that has provided legal defense to Dvir for years.
The Shabak (Israel Security Agency) has taken a particularly rough – others say “cruel” – approach to Dvir and his co-prisoner, Ofer Gamliel, both of Bat Ayin, ever since their arrest nearly nine years ago. Dvir, married to Ettie and father of six, and Gamliel, married to Michal and father of five, were both convicted of placing a bomb near an Arab school in eastern Jerusalem, following the murder of five-year-old Daniell Shefi in her home in the town of Adurah. They were each sentenced to 15 years in prison, and are both deprived of vacation and other privileges.
The decision to allow Dvir to attend his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah was a welcome surprise for the Dvir family.
During yesterday’s session, Dvir also made another request. He is taking part in a study program that generally enables its members to an extra 24 hours of vacation time every three months. Since he does not receive vacation time, Dvir asked that the extra 24 hours be “exchanged” for extra visitation rights for his family.
A decision on this matter is to be handed down in three weeks’ time.
The failed attack for which Dvir and Gamliel are in prison came in response to the wave of Palestinian terrorist attacks in 2001 and 2002 in which hundreds of Jews were murdered. The bomb was found to be faulty; the two convicts said that it was never meant to go off, while the court ruled that Dvir and Gamliel meant for it to go off, but failed. Their lawyer, Naftali Wurtzberger, said at the time that the court thus “entered the realm of determining their 'intentions.'”