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Family’s home attacked by Arabs in Tzfat, son detained

Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 18:12 Close to midnight on Sunday, August 24 a group of Arab youth sat down under the window of a Jewish family’s home in the Old City of Tzfat. The group, which was being very loud, included youths who had returned from partying, some of whom were drunk. In order to locate the source of the noise the family’s 16 year old son stepped out of his home. The youth called the attention of the group to the lateness of the hour and requested that they speak more quietly because they were disturbing members of his family who were trying to sleep. In response to the Jewish youth’s request the Arab youths violently assaulted him. The Jewish youth quickly escaped, entered his home and locked the gate to the yard. The group of Arab youth then began to throw rocks and bottles at the Jewish family’s home. At this point the Jewish youth’s father called the police. When policemen from the Tzfat Police Station arrived on the scene the Arab youths continued to attack the home and threatened the family, in the presence of the policemen. According to the Jewish family the police did nothing to stop the Arab youths. To the astonishment of the family the police detained their son, who does not have a criminal record, on suspicion of involvement with the disturbance. On Monday, August 25 the Jewish youth was brought to the Natzrat Magistrate Court for a remand extension. The police representative, First Sergeant Bushur Amar requested that the court extend the youth’s remand by eight days, a most unusual length of time relative to the incident. Attorney Lior Bar-Zohar, who is representing the youth on behalf of Honenu, requested that the youth be released to his home and stated that it was the youth and his family who had been assaulted. Although also the viewpoint of the police is that the Arab youths had been violent, during the deliberation the police representative stated that none of the Arab youths had been detained. At the end of the deliberation Judge Ilanit Imber accepted Bar-Zohar’s request and released the Jewish youth to his home. The judge ruled that the youth would start the school year on time at his yeshiva the following day, Wednesday, August 27. In her decision Judge Imber reasoned that misdemeanors attributed to the youth were not serious, he is a minor lacking a criminal record and his family is normative. “I am pleased that the court accepted our position according to which there was no justification for continuing the remand of a normative youth because of an incident in which he was assaulted near his home,” reported Bar-Zohar, who is representing the youth on behalf of Honenu, after the deliberation. “It appears to me the the Tzfat Police chose to detain the wrong side in this incident. I reason that continuing the investigation and viewing the recording from the security cameras will prove our claims.”

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