Appeal accepted in self-defense case
Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem and here for a list of posts relating to the May 2021 Arab rioting throughout Israel.
Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 16:15 Jerusalem Magistrates Court Judge Havi Toker accepted the appeal filed by Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who is representing two young Jewish men who were detained after they opened fire in self-defense when an Arab mob attacked Jews in the Sheikh Jarrah-Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood in Jerusalem on Friday, May 14. They were also placed under house arrest, distanced from Jerusalem for 15 days and their weapons were confiscated.
During the court deliberation, Rom stated that the young men, who served as combat soldiers in the IDF, came to the neighborhood to protect property at the request of the owners. They were attacked with Molotov cocktails and fireworks. One of them was injured and they unsuccessfully tried to summon the Israeli Police.
Rom: “For half an hour the Israeli Police did not come. At the end of the incident [the young men] used their personal weapons to successfully chase away the rioters, saving their lives and the lives of others in the neighborhood. Distancing them from Jerusalem violates their freedom, damages their income and sends an undesirable message that anyone who defends himself will be penalized.
“The Israeli Police are abandoning the security [of the neighborhood]. The young men are heroes who protected Jewish property that was almost set on fire by the Molotov cocktails, a clear danger. I demand that they be allowed to continue with their lives and that the rioters be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
In her decision, Judge Toker reduced the distancing order, which will end the following afternoon: “There is no evidence in the case which contradicts the testimonies of the appellants that the use of their weapons was in self-defense. It is not clear what the purpose of distancing them from Jerusalem is.”
Regarding the confiscation of their weapons, Judge Toker said that she did not find a decision about confiscating weapons in the investigative file, and the police must return the weapons to the appellants subject to the authority of the Internal Security Ministry.
Honenu Attorney Nati Rom: “In recent days we have witnessed an unacceptable practice by the Israeli Police, who instead of detaining rioters, detain for interrogation individuals who have used their personal weapons to defend lives and property. In this case, the two young men saved their own lives and the lives of the neighborhood’s residents. For half an hour the Arab rioters attacked them with Molotov cocktails and fireworks, injuring some of them. Instead of detaining the rioters, the Israeli Police interrogated individuals who used their weapons in self-defense, confiscated their weapons and distanced them from Jerusalem for 15 days.
“We are pleased that regarding the appeal we filed with the Jerusalem Magistrates Court today, the honorable Judge Toker decided to reduce the distancing order and ordered the return of the weapons tomorrow, subject to the authority of the Internal Security Minister, not that of the Israeli Police. We hope that the policy of confiscating weapons by the Israeli Police will immediately stop, and the rioters will be detained, and not those who defended themselves and the lives of others.”