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Appeal accepted

Sunday, September 3, 2017, 17:07 The President of the Ofer Military Court of Appeals, Judge Col. Netanel Benisho, accepted an appeal filed by Honenu Attorney Chaim Blaycher, and shortened the duration of the restrictions placed on a 14-year old resident of the Shomron by three and a half months, a significant length of time. The order issued to the minor and signed by the GOC of the Central Command Major-General Roni Numa, distanced him from all of Yehuda and Shomron, with the exception of his home community, and prohibited him from making direct or indirect contact with 22 individuals for half a year. The order also required him to stay in his parents home between 22:00 every night and 6:00 the following morning. Blaycher pleaded before the court that a hearing, which is mandatory, was not held and no summary adequately explaining why a 14-year old boy was required to cope with such unusually stringent restrictions was given. In his verdict Judge Col. Benisho wrote “I received the impression that the summary… is too general and does not facilitate understanding what the grounds for the order are, not even in a general sense).” The judge also criticized the IDF commander of Yehuda and Shomron for not holding a hearing before issuing the order: “We have insisted numerous times on the upholding of the law which states that a potential recipient of a restrictive order must be allowed to plead his case before a final decision is made on issuing the order.” And added, “I maintained that the very use of administrative orders against such a young minor causes serious damage. Even if imposing restrictions could not have been avoided, their duration should have been shortened in order to allow for examining their effect on the minor after a short period of time. This is particularly true as we are at the start of the academic year and it is correct to allow the minor the opportunity to attend an educational institution, even if it is in the area [included in the restrictions] prohibited by the order. “In light of the above-mentioned, the age of the appellant, and the fact that this is the first order issued to him, I reached the conclusion that while the order should be authorized, its duration should be shortened and expire on 21.8.17,” concluded Judge Col. Benisho. S., the appellant’s father, stated, “I am pleased that the judge understood that the way to handle youths who don’t toe the line and sometimes express pain and opposition to the difficult security situation, should be with care and educational guidance, while reducing as much as possible the heavy-handedness of the administrative orders which prevent the youths’ healthy development.” Honenu Attorney Chaim Blaycher: “We welcome the court’s recognition that administrative orders are especially problematic when minors are concerned. We hope that such orders will be directed towards Arab terror and not towards citizens who have been suspected of at most acts of protest against Arab terror.”

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