Court rejects police appeal on detained worshippers

Monday, January 9, 2017, 15:26 In the early afternoon hours of Monday, January 9, Lod


Worshippers' damaged cars; Photo credit: Shimon Ben

Worshippers’ damaged cars; Photo credit: Shimon Ben


Central District Court Judge Nava Bechor rejected the appeal filed by the police on the release of the worshippers who were detained after being assaulted by rock-throwing Arabs at Joshua’s Tomb (Kever Yehoshu’a Ben Nun) in the Arab village of Kifil Haras (Timnat Hares), near Ariel in the Shomron on the night of Wednesday, January 4. Judge Bechor accepted Honenu Attorney Chai Haber’s opinion and also leveled criticism at the police and army for detaining the worshippers, but not even one of the rioting Arabs. Judge Bechor agreed with the decision by the Petah Tikva Magistrate Court, which unconditionally released the worshippers, stated that they had not committed any violation, and also ruled that entering Kifil Haras, including Joshua’s Tomb, is permitted to Israeli citizens. In light of the decision the worshippers’ conduct does not constitute a violation of the law. “As there is no prohibition to enter Area B, including the village of Kifil Haras, there can be no violation attributed to the defendants due to the conduct of the residents [of Kifil Haras] which escalated into a disturbance, rock-throwing, calls of ‘Itbakh el Yahud’ (slaughter the Jews),” wrote Judge Bechor in her decision. “There still has not been received a satisfactory answer to the question raised by the defendants’ attorney, and also by the court, as to why not one of the rioters was detained at the scene, but rather only the defendants.” Honenu Attorney Chai Haber, who represented the worshippers, welcomed the court’s decision: “As long as there is no legal prohibition to enter a specific area, the police and the army must protect citizens who come to pray. The security forces exist for the purpose of detaining terrorists and criminals, not individuals who did not violate any law and who all in all asked to realize their right to pray.” Honenu: “Instead of arresting rioting Arabs who tried to kill Jews, the police give them a prize and detain the Jews. We are pleased that the courts have not sided with the dangerous conduct of the police, which unfortunately encourages Arab terrorists.” Photo: Worshippers’ damaged cars; Photo credit: Shimon Ben

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