Secret witness continues direct examination (Oct. 29, 2008)

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.

Prosecutor Elisabeth Shapiro continued direct examination by asking Avi what his criteria was before concluding a zakat (charity) committee was Hamas. He listed the his standards: Its key leadership is Hamas, it’s part of a “closed network” of charities, it has the same sources of external funding, its activities consistent with Hamas goals, it is viewed as a Hamas committee by the Palestinian Authority, it identified openly with Hamas and its offices had Hamas-related documents, materials and terminology. Avi then admit he’s never been to a single Palestinian zakat committee, but he has seen videos, he added. For the rest of the day, Avi addressed each zakat committee and why he thought they were Hamas institutions.

Islamic Complex of Gaza: (Not on the HLF Indictment)
The Islamic Complex was established by Hamas founder Ahmad Yasin. One of the charity’s main officials was senior Hamas leader Ibrahim Al-Yazouri. Shapiro then made yet another bizarre argument. Al-Yazouri took part in a 1994 letter-writing campaign against a report on CBS’s Eye on America that linked the HLF to Hamas. The letter included the following statements, “We do not support terrorism, we support lives … When you accuse them, you accuse us. This is nothing but Israeli propaganda.”

Islamic Center of Gaza: (Not on the HLF Indictment)
The leaders of the Islamic Center are prominent Hamas officials, Shapiro said. Prosecutors played a video of a 2001 kindergarten ceremony at the Islamic Center showing children on a stage wearing soldier garments and holding fake guns. FBI agents found a photo of the same ceremony of the same in a computer at the Chicago HLF office. Ahmad Bahr, a leader of the Islamic Center, attended the 2001 ceremony. He was also part of the letter-writing campaign against the CBS program.

Al-Salah Society: (Not on the HLF Indictment)
The leader of Al-Salah Society, Ahmad Al-Kurd, also wrote a letter to CBS.

Jenin Zakat Committee:
Avi said the Jenin Zakat Committee leaders were prominent Hamas officials and members, and the committee was part of the
”closed network.” In addition, Israeli agents found numerous Hamas-related items in the committee, Avi said, including postcards of Hamas founders Ahmad Yasin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi. The Palestinian Authority also briefly shut down after a few suicide bombings in Israel. Prosecutors then played a video seized at the Jenin Zakat Committee depicting a skit where a young Palestinian girl with a suicide belt “kills” two Palestinian girls dressed like Jewish settlers. Government attorneys refused to play a segment where a girl reads a spine-tingling poem. Here is the poem for the world to read:

You do not know me O soldier.
You are afraid of my childhood.
Afraid of my small fingers,
and of my dreams.
You can grasp the collar of my shirt,
but you will not be able to grasp my heart.
You are afraid of my notebook,
and my toy, and my books.
You are afraid of my notebook,
and my toy, and my books.
You scream in fear of my innocence,
and hide in the rusty helmet,
and ask for help while in hiding.
I am looking you in the eyes,
what right do you have for me
to give you my homeland?
What right do you have for me
to give you my homeland?
What right do you have for me
to give you my homeland?

Nablus Zakat Committee:
Some of the Nablus Zakat Committee leaders were prominant Hamas members, Avi exclaimed. Israeli agents also found Hamas-related items in the committee, such as postcards depicting suicide bombers, key chains of Hamas leaders Ahmad Yasin and Yahya Ayyash and a calendar with images of Palestinian resistance against the occupation and one photo of an Israeli bus in flames. They also played a video seized at the Nablus Zakat Committee of a man whose face is rapped in a kuffiyeh speaking before his suicide mission. This shows the indoctrination, but I don’t know if it was shown to children, Avi said. The jury then saw a photo of another suicide bomber whose family was aided by the Nablus Zakat Committee.

Ramallah Zakat Committee:
The leaders of Ramallah Zakat Committee were known Hamas members, and the committee was linked to Hamas in a Palestinian Authority document.

Tulkarem Zakat Committee:
The leaders of Tulkarem Zakat Committees were known Hamas figures, and some of them were arrested by Israeli agents. The jury then saw another poster of a suicide bomber that Israeli agents seized from the committee. Shapiro also displayed a picture of Hamas official Yahya Ayyash, a temporary Internet fie that the FBI seized from the HLF office in Richardson.

Bethlehem Orphan Care Society:
The leaders of the Bethlehem Orphan Care Society were known Hamas leaders, Avi said.

Islamic Science and Culture Committee:
The leaders of the Islamic Science and Culture Committee, such as Jamil Hamami, were known Hamas leaders, Avi said. In addition, they had books and leaflets about Hamas, and they were part of the “closed network.”

Qalqilia Zakat Committee:
The leaders of the Qalqilia Zakat Committee were known Hamas leaders, Avi said,

Islamic Charitable Society of Hebron:
The leaders of the Islamic Charitable Society of Hebron were known Hamas figures, Avi said. And one of the leader’s contact information was found in the phone book of Hamas leader Musa Abu Marzook.

Avi will likely finish direct examination on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008.

Leave a Comment