Updated: Jan 24, 2022
Please click here for a list of posts relating to the mid-May Arab rioting throughout Israel, including the detention of Honenu Attorney Nati Rom at the entrance to the Lod Police Station when he came to assist detainees and others in need of legal counsel.
Sunday, January 23, 2022, 9:35 Attorney Menashe Yado and Eladi Weisel of Honenu filed a suit against the Israel Police on behalf of 17 Jewish youths who were illegally detained when they came to support the residents of Ramle during Arab rioting in May 2021. They were taken to the police station where they waited for hours longer than the legal limit to be interrogated, and some of them were illegally strip searched. In a compromise agreement, the police will pay each of the youths 5,000 NIS in compensation, 85,000 NIS in total.
One of the falsely detained youths stated: "My friends and I arrived in Ramle to distribute pizza to the Jewish residents, to lift their spirits during the severe riots that occurred during the summer. After we finished the distribution, we started to return to our car. Suddenly policemen jumped on us. We were only walking along the street. We weren't doing anything. They didn't explain to us why we were being detained. They wouldn't tell us anything. We waited for six hours at the station before we were interrogated, and the interrogator herself didn't know why we had been detained. She didn't know what to ask us at all. In the end, we were released. I hope that the police will learn from this incident, and I hope that the basic rights of freedom and liberty will be preserved."
Yado described the detention: "This was a wholesale detention of 17 Jews in one night. The police were 'cleaning the streets' of Ramle of Jews. The May 2021 riots were a disgrace and an embarrassment for the Israel Police, who proved that they shake with fear when faced with Arabs, but abandon Jews.
"We attained reasonable compensation for all of the youths who came to instill nationalistic pride in Jewish residents of a mixed city. They were detained for that reason, and only that reason, by the police, who have de facto admitted that they carried out heavy-handed and illegal wholesale detentions."
Weisel welcomed the compromise agreement: "The Israeli Police did well to compensate the plaintiffs before the case was brought before a court. They understood that they could not defend their inexplicable acts.
"Instead of carrying out their duty to protect the Jewish residents of Ramle, who were suffering from the Arab rioting, and their duty to prosecute the assailants to the full extent of the law, the police chose the easy solution and 'cleaned' the city's streets of Jews by detaining them wholesale. The police violated their freedom and their legal rights as law-abiding citizens who came to strengthen the residents of Ramle and found themselves in the police station, detained without cause."
Some of the youths were able to record video clips documenting the detention.
In one clip (see below), policemen are loading the detainees into the police car as a Ramle resident explains that "there are gunshots in the background, and the police are detaining the guys who came to help us and bring us a treat." (Video credit: Free use)
In another clip (see below) policemen are seen taking a youth from the intersection at the entrance to Ramle, even though he hadn't done anything. (Video credit: Free use)