Demand to return arson suspect to remand
Updated: Jan 21
Click here for a report of a violent Arab demonstration in the Shimon HaTzadik (Sheikh Jarrah) neighborhood on May 6; for a video clip of the demonstration, click here. For a list of posts relating to Arab rioting in Israel at the time of Operation Guardian of the Walls, click here, and for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu provided legal counsel to victims of antisemitic attacks in Jerusalem, click here.
Wednesday, December 29, 2021, 11:51 Honenu Attorney Ofir Steiner sent a letter to the Investigations and Intelligence Department of the Shalem Police Station on behalf of Tal Yoshvaev, a resident of the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem, whose car has been torched several times over the past few months. The letter expresses the demand to return a suspect to remand in light of a declaration that he made of his desire to die as a shahid (martyr). The suspect was released to house arrest after being held in remand for several days.
Tal Yoshvaev’s car has been torched seven times over the past year. Since Operation Guardian of the Walls, Yoshvaev’s family has suffered repeated incidents of arson, rock-throwing, and fireworks launched directly at their home. The letter (summarized below) describes Yoshvaev’s concerns:
On December 12, 2021, several Arabs set my client’s car, which was parked near his home in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood, on fire. This incident follows several torchings of my client’s car, all of which were motivated by nationalistic racism. My client was informed by the crime victim notification system of the detention of two suspects, both of them minors.
Three days later, the news media publicized the detention of the two suspects and the police press office released a video clip documenting the detention of one of them. The police press office also stated that “The Israel Police will continue to decisively act against any attempt to harm the peace, security, and property of the public.” Nevertheless, my client was informed that the two suspects were released to house arrest under restrictive conditions on the day following the press release.
A disconcerting picture arises from examination of posts on the suspect’s Facebook page, which is completely public: The suspect has asked G-d to allow him to die as a martyr. In this context, it should be noted that just several days ago a young Arab woman, a minor, attempted to kill a Jewish woman.
One must not make light of disturbing statements from a youth who has already set a car on fire, motivated only by nationalistic racism. If he was able to set property on fire, which could have led to bodily injury, the thought that he would injure someone is not far-fetched, certainly, since, despite his young age, he speaks of his aspiration to die as a martyr. The statements have greater weight coming from someone who has posted on Facebook as he has. If he decides to carry out a much more severe attack, will we be able to say that there were not warning signs?
Therefore we demand a thorough examination of the communication between the suspects on social media and a reconsideration of the remand conditions. The suspects, who have indicated that they pose a danger to the public, must be detained until the end of proceedings so that they cannot continue their violent ways.