Avi—known to some as the phantom Israeli witness—concluded his testimony on Friday, Oct. 31, 2008. After calling sixteen witnesses and presenting numerous documents, wiretapped phone calls, images and videos, government attorneys finally rested their case.
Prosecutor Elisabeth Shapiro continued direct examination of Avi on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008 by further inquiring about the Islamic Charitable Society of Hebron. Avi talked about other charity leaders whom he considered Hamas figures. In addition, prosecutors played a video seized from the Young Muslim Society in Hebron. The tape depicted Palestinian children in black clothing holding fake shoulder missiles and marching on a stage during a kindergarten ceremony. Toward the end of the video, the children chant, “We will continue with resistance and jihad to liberate Palestine,” after which the kids take turns to announce suicide bombers and the amount of Israeli deaths caused by each operation. Avi then exclaimed, From 1995 to 2001, the Islamic Charitable Society of Hebron was definitely part of the Hamas social network. It was the biggest Hamas committee in the West Bank.
Some jurors sighed, yawned and constantly glanced up at the clock on Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008 as they continued to hear the testimony of Avi, an anonymous Israeli witness.
Jurors anxiously leaned toward the screens on Monday, Oct. 27, 2008 as defense attorney Aaron Mysliwiec showed them the rest of a video that prosecutors cut off as he concluded his cross-examination of FBI agent Lara Burns. In the excerpt, a man said the Palestinian deportees whom Israel dropped on a deserted Lebanese mountaintop in 1992 were not just from Hamas and Islamic Jihad like government attorneys alleged.
As the fifth week of the Holy Land Foundation Retrial wrapped up, jurors were still wide awake as defense attorneys continued to cross-examine FBI agent Lara Burns.