Detention over self-defense
For more posts about Arab rioting and Jewish detainees, please see here. Tuesday, July 6, 2021, 9:54 The day before the Shavuot holiday (this year, May 16), during Operation Guardian of the Walls, a time of Arab rioting throughout Israel, Y. and a group of young men organized to guard an abandoned Jewish property in the Beit Hanina neighborhood of Jerusalem. As the group was trying to reach the property, they were attacked twice. Y. was forced to open fire in order to protect himself and his friends from dozens of rioters. When the police arrived, he was detained.
Arab rioting in Beit Hanina; Video credit: Security cameras When the group entered Beit Hanina, they lost their way and were forced to wait for someone to lead them to the property. As they were standing on the side of the street, they were trapped in an ambush and Arabs threw dozens of large rocks at them. They had no way of safely leaving, so they stayed in place, like ducks in a shooting gallery, and continued to wait for assistance. Y., who served in the army, decided to take a weapon belonging to someone in the group and defend the group. Y. used the weapon, a long gun, only for warning and did not discharge it. Several minutes later, someone drove up and guided the group to the property. In video clips of the scene, the street is full of rocks and dozens of rioters are chasing the group deep into the neighborhood. When the group reached the house at which they were supposed to spend the holiday, they were attacked again. A video clip of the incident shows dozens of rocks being thrown at the group, hitting them and their cars. At this stage, Y. felt that the lives of the group were in danger and in defense fired one shot into the air, which neither injured nor endangered anyone. Other members of the group also fired their weapons, which in the investigation was determined to be a justified action. Because Y. used a weapon that was not his, even though he had been trained to use such a weapon, the Attorney General’s office demanded that he be held in remand until the end of proceedings. However Jerusalem District Court Judge Chana Miriam Lomp decided to release him to house arrest. In her decision she cited “the unusual circumstances of the incident,” and noted that the street was covered with rocks that the rioters had thrown at the group, and also that others had opened fire. Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who is representing Y.: “We are pleased with the court’s decision to release the defendant. In our opinion, the indictment should not have ever been filed. The court was convinced that the Arab violence and rioting not only did not cause the police to act, but necessitated the active intervention of the defendant and his friends. “Therefore we were surprised and angered by the arbitrary detention of all of the suspects and of the defendant himself. We hope that his release symbolizes what will come next: a general cancellation of charges and the exoneration of the defendant from all charges against him.”