Court ruled against synagogue prayers for Kochav HaShahar defendants

Friday, May 22, 2015, 8:15 On April 16, a police detective disguised as an Arab shepherd and three Arab shepherds approached Kochav HaShahar in an incident staged to provoke a disturbance. In total, five residents of Kochav HaShahar were detained on suspicion of assaulting the group, despite a lack of evidence implicating them. For more information on the case see here. At the end of April 2015, three of the defendants were released to complete house arrest after being held in remand since the incident. On their behalf, Honenu attorney Rehavia Piltz filed a request to allow them to attend prayers in synagogue on the Shavuot holiday. The Attorney General’s office opposed the request and even though rulings from various Israeli courts, including the Supreme Court of Israel, authorizing Arabs under similar circumstances to attend prayers in a mosque during Ramadan were presented, the court accepted the opinion of the Attorney General’s office and Jerusalem District Court Judge Aryeh Romanov rejected the request. Honenu attorney Rehavia Piltz responded to the ruling: “It is a shame that the court did not schedule an urgent deliberation on the matter of the defendants’ request to be allowed to pray with a minyan. It is very sad to see that the judges do not understand how important praying with a minyan is to a Jew, particularly on the Shavuot holiday on which the Jewish People celebrates the Torah being given, the Torah in which the entire people of Israel together heard the Ten Commandments.”

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