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Itamar rapid response squad members released

Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 19:56 The two rapid response squad members one from Itamar and the other from the adjacent Rekhes HaGidonim hilltop community, detained on Tuesday, January 20, on suspicion of injuring rioting Arabs who attacked IDF forces, were released from remand on Wednesday, January 21 following an appeal filed by Honenu. On Tuesday, January 20 The Petah Tikva Magistrate Court extended their remand by three days. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who is representing the detainees, filed an appeal with the Lod District Court. Despite the fact that photographs of the two rapid response squad members had been publicized in the news and social media, the police insisted on placing them in a police line-up. In the line-up, which took place on the morning of Wednesday, January 21 neither one of them was identified as having shot the injured Arabs. On Wednesday, January 21, a deliberation took place at the Lod District Court at which Judge Yehezkel Kienar rejected the appeal but also ruled that if there was no significant development in the investigation then the two detainees would be released on Thursday, January 22. Honenu did not give up and filed a request to appeal to the Supreme Court of Israel. However before the court ruled on the request the police announced that they had decided to release the detainees on Wednesday in the evening. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar said in response that, “We regret that only our request to the Supreme Court brought about the release of the two rapid response squad members. This was a false detention which indicates the one-sidedness of the police conduct. The fact that the court was dragged into the conduct is unfortunate and reinforces the unacceptable message which weakens the security forces in their fight against the difficult Arab riots. We will continue to fight for the rights of civilians, among them rapid response squad members, and IDF soldiers, especially when they are protecting civilians and soldiers who have encountered crises and life-threatening situations.” It should be noted that the two detained rapid response squad members gave testimony that they had shot into the air after they noticed that the driver of an army Hummer was being attacked by dozens of rioting Arabs and his life was endangered. The incident occurred during searches by the army and the rapid response squads in the area of the Arab village of Akrava following a report of a possible kidnapping.

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