14-year-old boys dragged out of their beds in pre-dawn raid, released in court

Tuesday, May 13, 22:08 At 3:00 AM on Tuesday, May 13 large numbers of police forces, including detectives, raided the homes of two 14-year-old boys in the Etzion Bloc community of Bat Ayin. The police woke up the boys, dragged them out of their beds and transferred them to the Department of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police for interrogation. The boys were interrogated on suspicion of committing the violations of “a hazardous act and negligence with fire” approximately one week ago while they were at an Etzion Bloc protest over the murder of Afula resident Shelly Dadon, hy”d. The two boys are suspected of setting a tire on fire during the protest. In their interrogation they denied all charges. On Tuesday afternoon the boys were brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court. In the deliberation the police demanded that they be released on condition of 1,000 NIS bail and 10 days of house arrest. In the deliberation Honenu attorney Avichai Hajbi, who is representing them, demanded an unconditional release in light of the minor crime of which the boys are suspected. Hajbi also stressed that the boys deny all charges and no evidence has been presented to them linking them to the act. Judge Alexander Ron rejected the police request, ordered the bays released to three days of house arrest and ordered them to post 500 NIS bail. Honenu attorney Hajbi stated in response that, “The court unequivocally ruled that this is a minor incident. The conduct of the police indicates their being panicked and overly motivated [to detain nationalist youth], which will lead to lack of cooperation [from detainees]. These are normative boys who belong in school and not in interrogation rooms.” Honenu, which is assisting the boys with legal counsel, responded to the detention and release: “Unfortunately we have been witness recently to a witch hunt and an almost unprecedented wave of detentions the likes of which we have not seen since the days of the Expulsion from Gush Katif. Honenu attorneys are coming to courthouses every day with detainees, most of them minors, some of them barely of age to be tried for criminal acts, and despite the baseless requests from the police, most of the detainees are being released to their homes. We hope that the legal system regains its sanity. In a different era these boys would not have been interrogated at all and certainly not dragged from their beds in the early morning hours.”

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