Court orders Boaz Albert released
Friday, August 16, 12:14 On the morning of Friday, August 16 the Petah Tikvah Magistrate Court ordered the release of Boaz Albert, the Yitzhar resident detained for refusal to honor an administrative order signed by IDF Central Command Major General Nitzan Alon banning him from entering Yehuda and Shomron, despite the police demand to keep Albert in remand until the end of proceedings against him. Albert was detained the previous day by policemen who repeatedly shocked him with a Taser, even though he did not resist detention. Please see video here. The court ordered Albert released until the next deliberation on his case. Honenu welcomes the decision, which the Israeli Police have appealed. Judge Nava Bechor leveled criticism against Albert for not honoring the administrative order and also criticized the police for their violent conduct during the detention on Thursday, August 15. In mid July, 2013 Boaz Albert, a Yitzhar resident, father of six and an agriculturalist, received an administrative order signed by IDF Central Command Major General Nitzan Alon banning him from entering Yehuda and Shomron. According to Albert he is not involved with any illegal activities and the order is in response to statements he has made and articles he has written opposing the policy of the army concerning its treatment of terrorists. In response Albert announced that he has no intention of honoring the order, which he considers illegal and deprives him of his freedom without a trial and without any evidence. Albert was detained at his home also several weeks ago by army and police forces in an operation led by the Shomron brigade commander. The security forces entered Yitzhar through the Arab town of Hawara, surprised Albert at his home and returned through Hawara in order to avoid clashing with the residents of Yitzhar. Albert was released in court after it became clear that the administrative order given to him was not valid. Albert returned to his home after his release. During the past few days a steady stream of rabbis, members of Knesset and other public figures has visited Albert at his home, among them R. Elyakim Levanon, R. Natan Chai, R. Shmuel Yaniv, MK Zevulun Kalfa, MK Orit Struk, Professor Hillel Weiss and many more. The visitors were impressed by Albert’s work in strengthening the Shomron and his vineyard in the Tekuma neighborhood of Yitzhar. The visitors signed a petition in response to the administrative order stating that no-one has the right to expel Albert from his land and that such an act is illegal. On the evening of Thursday, August 15 Yassam (Special Unit) police forces raided Albert’s home in Yitzhar. The forces entered the home without a warrant and in the presence of Albert’s young children and wife and other guests, including small children, Tasered Albert and his brother who was present at the time. The police repeatedly shocked Albert with a Taser despite the fact that he did not express any resistance to the detention, a detail which the police mentioned in their announcement of the detention. Albert was taken by Yassam police by foot through the neighboring Arab town of Hawara even though he suffered from electric shock. Albert was taken to the Ariel Police Station and interrogated throughout the night. Albert’s brother, who also suffered from electric shock, was evacuated to hospital for medical treatment. Subsequent to the detention police and army forces closed the access roads to Yitzhar in order to prevent residents from attempting to delay the departure of the Yassam police through Hawara. At the intersection of the entry road to Yitzhar and the main road residents of Yitzhar and other communities in the area gathered to protest the detention of Albert and the violence used against him. Police forces on the scene forcibly removed the protesters and sprayed tear gas. An 11.5 year old boy was injured by the tear gas and required medical treatment. On the morning of Friday, August 16, Petah Tikvah Magistrate Court Judge Nava Bechor ordered the release of Albert on condition of the administrative order signed by Major General Nitzan Alon and that he appear in court for a deliberation the following Sunday. At the request of the police representative present at the deliberation carrying out the decision was delayed in order to allow the police time to file an appeal with the district court. During the deliberation the judge accepted the plea by Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who is representing Albert, that the violence used was completely unnecessary and that the detainee did not resist detention. According to the judge the timing and manner of the detention were highly questionable. In response to the decision Yitzhar’s spokesman, Avraham Binyamin, stated that “It cannot be that a man is imprisoned without a trial and without an opportunity to defend himself. The shocking video clip [of the police shocking Albert with a Taser] shows that the law in the name of which the violent policemen were sent is neither just nor moral. Justice is Boaz being allowed home.” Honenu, which represented Boaz Albert, welcomes his release and expresses a hope that at the end of the struggle the administrative order which deprives him of his freedom without a trial will be canceled.