Honenu criticized suspension of border policeman

Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 10:24 Following the recent “bicycle provocation” incident in Hevron, a border policeman was suspended from active duty and the Police Investigation Unit opened an investigation against him. Honenu examined the incident and is calling on the border police commander to cancel the suspension. Honenu also strongly criticizes the left-wing organizations that are complicit with the Arabs responsible for such incidents and the border police commander for “toeing the line” with them. Honenu: “The area in question is classified sterile and located at the main entrance to the Jewish side of the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where Arabs are forbidden from entering out of security concerns. At this same site a Kiryat Arba resident, Gennady Kaufman, Hy”d, was murdered in December 2015. In recent years Arabs in Hevron have attempted many times to provoke soldiers and policemen into reacting inappropriately to taunts and abuse. One of the most serious incidents was the sexual harassment of a border policewoman by an Arab boy as a relative of his filmed the incident and encouraged him. The border policewoman was left powerless out of fear that reacting would lead to sanctions against her by her commanders. The video clip was publicized on the Internet.” Honenu Attorney Adi Kedar, who serves in the reserves as a deputy assistant chief of staff for operations in a paratrooper reconnaissance battalion, called on the border police commander to cancel the suspension: “After conducting a field inquiry and discussing the incident with security forces, we became aware that the lack of support [for the forces] was even greater than we had thought. In the Gaza Strip I saw before my very own eyes more than five instances of terrorists sending children towards the [security] fence in order to test the reaction of the IDF and to see what would happen, as preparation for a terror attack. This suspension is an insult to the public’s intelligence. Do you not know that at the same site [as the “bicycle provocation”] there were terror attacks and people were murdered?! This is how it starts. By sending children to test the reaction. “We call on the border police commander to immediately cancel the suspension. And we call on the Police Investigation Unit not to involve itself with this minor incident, which is De minimis and at most constitutes a disciplinary infraction. Additionally there must be an investigation into who sent the girl, and how the photographer, who has previously filmed the scenes of terror attacks moments after the attacks, knew to be at the site exactly at the right moment in order to capture the policeman with his camera, and to verify that this is not a case of gathering information for the purpose of preparing the ground for another murderous terror attack, like the ones Hevron has experienced over recent months.” Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, the director of Honenu: “As a Hevron resident who prays at the Tomb of the Patriarchs every morning and passes by this site, I see how every day Arabs taunt our security forces and how incidents designed to provoke soldiers into responding disproportionately are staged and filmed. In the same area an Arab boy sexually harassed a border policewoman as an adult Arab filmed and encouraged him. At the exact same site [as the “bicycle provocation”] my friend Gennady Kaufman, Hy”d, was murdered a few months ago. However for some reason these facts are not mentioned by either B’Tzelem or the media. “A border police commander must not toe the line with a left-wing organization and thus benefit the enemy by rendering a soldier or policeman powerless, as was the case when four K’fir Brigade soldiers were held in remand for two weeks following a baseless complaint by an Arab. Only after Honenu provided them with legal representation were the soldiers unconditionally released. An absurd situation has been created in which instead of neutralizing terrorists the army neutralizes its own soldiers. It is our obligation to give support to the security forces who endanger their lives for us, and not to abandon them.”

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