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Assaulted Jews distanced from Yehuda/Shomron

Sunday, September 4, 2016, 9:32 The Central District Court in Lod rejected the appeal filed by Honenu and in an unprecedented decision ruled that despite the fact that entry to Joshua’s Tomb (Kever Yehoshu’a Ben Nun) is permitted to Israeli citizens, because Arabs from the nearby village endanger the lives of Israelis entering the site, entry to the hostile area area without prior coordination with the IDF constitutes a criminal violation. On Thursday, September 1, Judge Zahava Bustan of the Central District Court in Lod rejected the appeal filed by Honenu Attorney Chai Haber on the distancing of 13 Jews who attempted to pray at Joshua’s Tomb (Kever Yehoshu’a Ben Nun), near Ariel in the Shomron on August 25 and were assaulted by Arabs from the village of Kifil Haras (Timnat Hares), in which the tomb is located. Haber claimed that the group of worshippers, who have been distanced by the Petah Tikva Magistrate Court from Yehuda and Shomron for 60 days, did not carry out any violation because entry to the village by Israeli citizens is permitted by law. In his opinion there is absolutely no basis to accusing them of being a “public nuisance” because the law stipulates that a forbidden act be carried out, and there is no disagreement that entry to Kifil Haras is permitted to Jews. In Haber’s opinion distancing the worshippers from the site in order to stop the rioting Arabs who were throwing rocks, instead of imposing law and order, is a prize which encourages acts of terror. Haber added that by the same logic citizens who enter south Tel Aviv and are assaulted could be detained for entering a dangerous area. In any event there is no cause for such a severe and comprehensive distancing order because there are no investigative procedures that the police have to carry out. However Judge Bustan criticized the entry of the worshippers to the village and wrote in her decision that she did not see any need to refer to the opinion of the police because she was sure of her own opinion. “Even if the appellants are permitted entry to the site to which they attempted to arrive, when the area is hostile, and entry to it poses a danger to the appellants themselves and to the IDF soldiers who have to rescue them, then it is necessary to coordinate plans prior to arrival to the site and not to present the soldiers stationed in the area with a fait accompli.” Honenu leveled sharp criticism at the unprecedented decision which constitutes a “slippery slope”. Honenu: “All of Yehuda and Shomron, and in fact all of Israel, is considered a dangerous area. This decision constitutes a prize encouraging acts of terror. According to the court, Jews will be required to coordinate their plans with the army before entering a village in which terror attacks have been carried out. In a sovereign state of law, the security forces must facilitate safe access for citizens to all areas which are permitted to them. It cannot be that an area to which entry is permitted, certainly not an area holy to Jews who have been accustomed to visiting it for years, is closed only due to lack of law enforcement, and law-abiding worshippers are turned into criminals because of the failings of the army and the police. Today it is Breslov hasidim at Joshua’s Tomb. Tomorrow hikers could be detained after being assaulted on a hike, and the next day it could be orphans visiting their parents’ graves on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, an area known for being dangerous.”

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