Demolition in Givat Gal, no order presented to court

Tuesday, June 14, 2016, 15:25 Honenu Attorney Yehuda Shoshan: “It is probable that all of the police action was unjustified.” During the demolition of a house in the hilltop community of Givat Gal near Hevron late at night on Monday, June 13, policemen violently detained one resident and one local yeshiva student. The following afternoon Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge David Shaul Gabai Richter extended the remand of both detainees by one day. The police claim that one of the detainees, a 37-year old married Givat Gal resident who has four children, threw a rock and injured a tractor driver as he demolished the house. The detainee completely denies the charge and claims that because of the commotion and the darkness, the policemen erred in detaining him and not the person who threw the rock. A yeshiva student was detained on suspicion of assaulting policemen. He denies the charge and during the court deliberation the police investigator admitted that the student suffers from many injuries, which were documented and reported to the Police Investigation Unit. Honenu reports that both of the detainees suffer from visible injuries due to severe police brutality. The older of the two detainees lost his glasses as he was being dragged by the police, and required a replacement pair. During the deliberation Honenu Attorney Yehuda Shoshan, who represented the two detainees, demanded that the police representative present to the court a demolition order for the house. The police investigator stated that such an order exists, but he does not have it in his possession. The detainees claimed that no demolition order for the house was presented nor was a closure order presented for the neighborhood in which 15 families reside, including dozens of children. Additionally Shoshan claims that the commotion in the area as well as the heavy darkness, caused errors in the identification of the detainees by the policemen, who therefore detained innocent citizens. Shoshan described the situation and presented evidence to Judge Gabai Richter, showing how the head of the Kiryat Arba Local Council, Malachi Levinger, was beaten by policemen, apparently the same policemen who beat and detained the two detainees. Judge Gabai Richter ruled that although the detainees deny all charges, based on testimonies by the policemen there is reasonable cause to keep them in remand and extended their remand by one day. The police had demanded a three-day extension. Honenu Attorney Yehuda Shoshan: “The investigative authorities and the court have yet to be presented with a demolition order, and therefore it is probable that there was no justification for any of the police action, which without a doubt legally permits active resistance to the demolition of the house. The policemen treated the residents and others present at the scene, including the head of the [Kiryat Arba] Local Council,violently. Currently, as they watch video clips of citizens being beaten for no reason, they place the blame on the innocent.”

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