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Court ruled: Violating no-access zone order not cause for remand

Friday, April 26, 13:40 Judge Gad Erhenberg criticized the police over their demand for remand until the end of proceedings and unconditionally released the youth. Honenu states: The court is preventing the police from creating standards which discriminate against right-wing activists. On Friday, April 26 An 18 year old youth was detained on the morning of Friday, April 26 along with a friend in the Ramat Migron outpost after he was told that the area was closed off under a no-access order It should be noted that the youth has been a permanent resident of the outpost for over a year and a half, a status recognized in an Israeli Supreme Court ruling. The two detainees were taken to the Sha’ar Binyamin Police Station where they were interrogated. At the end of the interrogation the policemen at the station decided to release one of the detainees and, with unusual speed, within a few hours, decided to file an indictment on the other detainee, a resident of Ramat Migron, for the misdemeanor of violating the no-access order. The police also demanded that he be held in remand until the end of proceedings. The unusual, some would say hasty, action taken by the police in filing the indictment was to their detriment. The alacrity with which the indictment was filed and the difficult-to-understand demand for a remand extension until the end of proceedings, brought Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Gad Erhenberg to make a decision likely to limit the law enforcement actions which the police take against the residents of outposts. The decision follows two other fundamental decisions (see here and here) which were recently accepted by the courts against the police as a result of legal claims made by Honenu attorneys. The judge accepted the opinion of Honenu attorney David HaLevi stating that violating the no-access order on a single occasion is not cause for remand. Since there is no cause for the remand in the first place, there certainly is no cause for remand until the end of proceedings or even for restrictive conditions. During the course of the deliberation in the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who is representing the youth, pleaded that the police demand for remand until the end of proceedings was gratuitous thuggery. According to HaLevi, after the police informed the youth that he would be released on condition that he agree to a restraining order banning him from entering the area of the outpost, the youth refused, pointing out that he was permanent resident of the outpost. The police informed him that an indictment would be filed against him with a demand to keep him in remand until the end of proceedings. Additionally, HaLevi pleaded that the order was illegal and designed to bypass decisions made by the Jerusalem Magistrate and District Courts and the Supreme Court of Israel, namely that a closed military zone order is not binding on the residents of the site, even if they are Jews. Additionally, HaLevi noted that several times, in the presence of the youth, the prosecution altered what they wrote in the reports they submitted. As stated above, Judge Ehrnberg accepted HaLevi’s pleas in their entirety and noted that in this instance there is no cause for remand. As to the question of whether in and of itself the entry of the defendant to the area is a violation of the law, the judge said that he is not interested in dealing with that facet of the case, which should be clarified in the legal deliberations on the case. Honenu notes that this is not the first time that the court has prevented the police from creating discriminatory standards against right-wing activists. Approximately two weeks ago, Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Hagit Mak-Kalmanovitz ruled that spraying graffiti, including nationalist graffiti, is not defined as a “price tag” incident and does not constitute cause for holding a suspect in remand. Additionally, this week Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Yitzhak Shimoni criticized the Police Unit for Nationalist Crime for their attempt to postpone a deliberation on the remand extension of two 15 year old youths until the following morning, instead of ruling on the matter that same evening. Judge Shimoni stated that the postponement was an unacceptable attempt to use remand as a punishment. Honenu notes that the two above-mentioned incidents are examples of widespread, unacceptable behavior among the police who discriminate against right-wing activists. In response to the unconditional release of the youth, Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who represented the youth, said, “The court’s decision speaks for itself. The court would not take part in the unacceptable and unrestrained attempt by the prosecution to place an illegal restraining order on my client banning him from entering Ramat Migron.”

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