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Families with young children detained on way to Foreign Minister’s home

Wednesday, April 18, 14:42 Two young couples and their small children from the “Ulpana” neighborhood of Beit El who arrived yesterday (Tuesday) at the community of Nokdim in Gush Etzion in order to speak with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman were detained by the guard at the entrance. The two families were released after a security check by a GSS agent who arrived on the scene. According to an attorney from Honenu the detainment was illegal. Due to the threat of destruction hovering over their homes, several residents of the “Ulpana” neighborhood of Beit El decided to send representatives to speak with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and they decided to speak to the minister at his home in the community of Nokdim. Yesterday evening (Tuesday) two couples and their small children left Beit El for Nokdim. As they began the drive they sent a text message to Minister Lieberman’s aide informing him that they were on their way to the minister and that they would like to speak to him. At the entrance to the community of Nokdim the families were asked by the guard to state the purpose of their visit. When they replied and specified their intentions they were detained by the guard, who took their identification cards. In the meantime Minister Lieberman’s aide informed them that the minister was abroad. The families, who wanted to return home, were met with refusal by the guard, who claimed that they were required to remain until they passed a security check. According to him because the minister’s security staff was not present they would have to wait between three and eight hours until security personnel arrived. The families attempted to contact several people, including Knesset members and Minister Lieberman’s wife, in order to shorten the exhausting security process that would last until the late evening hours. After less than an hour a guard who identified himself as a GSS agent arrived and began to check their details. Simultaneously the families contacted Honenu in order to receive legal advice on their rights and obligations in such a situation. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar informed them that the detainment of citizens by a guard from a security firm not belonging to governmental security forces is illegal and that the guard at the entrance to Nokdim was not authorized to keep their identification cards. In the meantime the GSS agent completed the security check and the families returned to their homes.

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