Updated: Nov 23, 2022
For a selection of cases in which Honenu Attorneys represented Jews detained on or near the Temple Mount, please click here.
Sunday, November 20, 2022, 9:46 Approximately two weeks ago, a Jewish youth who prayed at the Chain Gate, one of the gates to the Temple Mount, in the Old City of Jerusalem was brutally detained by a police officer who thought that he was not being filmed (see video clip below). The detainee required medical treatment. Honenu Attorney Eladi Weisel wrote a letter – see summary after the video clip – to the Police Investigation Unit (PIU) demanding an immediate investigation of the police officer.
Honenu Attorney Eladi Weisel: "This shocking attack is the kind of incident that occurs under dark regimes. It is out of place under the rule of law. An officer in the Israel Police must not be able to use a police facility to conceal the use of illegal force on a detainee. How can it be that a policeman has no fear of doing something like this in front of his colleagues? We demand that the police suspend the violent policeman, thoroughly investigate the incident, and eradicate this evil from their midst. This is not the first time that police brutality under the protection of police station walls has become known to us. We will not accept this contemptible conduct."
The brutal detention; Video courtesy of the videographer
Summary of the letter:
The youth and his friends were praying near the Chain Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem so that they could be close to the Temple Mount. At some point, policemen arrived on the scene and demanded that the youth and his friends stop praying and leave the site. The youth and his friends asked the policemen to present an order or a legal agreement indicating that their presence at the site was prohibited, but the policemen ignored their request and informed them that they must leave the site "within a minute". After a short time, the policemen, with the officer leading, began to shove the worshipers from the site. The officer grabbed the youth by the shirt and started to roughly pull him. The youth pleaded with him to stop pulling him, but the officer continued to roughly shove him to the local police station.
When they reached the police station, the youth was shoved inside as the policemen closed the door to prevent his friends from documenting the incident. Then the officer brutally assaulted the youth, smashing his head on the floor and beating him all over. Even though the youth pleaded with him to stop, the officer continued to beat him. As a result of the brutality, the youth's entire body was bruised, he had an open wound on his head, and he required medical treatment. Despite the closed door, his friends were able to document the incident and the brutal treatment of their friend.
Despite the youth's injuries and although he had not violated any laws, he was summoned to a police interrogation on suspicion of disturbing a policeman in the line of duty and behavior liable to violate the public peace. The charges attributed to my client, which do not concern violent conduct on his part, certainly do not necessitate the use of force by the police. There was no justification for the brutal and violent manner in which they detained him. It should be said that even if there had been grounds for detention, which is completely refuted by the video clip, there was no authorization or justification for applying force, certainly not such extreme violence, to the point of injuring the detainee, who had bleeding head wounds and other injuries.
The officer knew that he was being filmed and therefore the serious violence started only after he thought that the youth's friends could not see him. It should be emphasized that the officer chose to apply most of the violence only after he isolated my client from his friends and (he thought) their cameras, which he knew they had on the way to the police station. Therefore, he waited for a window of opportunity during which he thought that he could beat my client without concern that he would be filmed by civilians. It is intolerable that an officer in the Israel Police would use the walls of a police facility as protection from documentation that could be used in a criminal trial and as a place of which he could take advantage for illegally exerting brutal force on detainees.
The PIU must obtain the video clips from the cameras that recorded the incident and summon the police officer for interrogation immediately so that he will not be able to disrupt the investigation of his actions. It should be noted that this is not the first time that the police officer was documented treating Jewish worshipers brutally. In a video clip publicized by the Beyadenu organization that encourages Jews to visit the Temple Mount, the officer is seen violently pushing worshipers on a tour of the site.