Jerusalem District Court twice overturns Magistrate Court rulings

Sunday, October 14, 13:35 Judge Moshe Drori twice overturned the Jerusalem Magistrate Court rulings and released the last of the detainees in the recent Susiya-Havat Har Sinai case. Honenu: “Now that all of the detainees have been released it is time to examine who authorized the dangerous operation.” In two deliberations which took place at the Jerusalem District Court on the appeals filed by Honenu, Judge Moshe Drori overturned the decision of the magistrate court and released to house arrest the two remaining detainees in the recent Susiya-Havat Har Sinai case. The police were strongly criticized for their decision to send policemen disguised as Arabs to carry out an operation at a Jewish community. On Friday, Judge Drori ordered the release of the third defendant, who had been detained on the day of the incident, the eve of the Simhat Torah holiday (October 7). The previous day, the magistrate court judge ordered that defendant’s remand be extended by two weeks until the probation board gave its opinion regarding an alternative to remand. The magistrate court also ordered the release of the other two defendants to house arrest. It should be noted that the defendant who was released by Judge Drori on Friday had been the one out of the three detainees who was suspected of being actively involved in the clash with the policemen disguised as Arabs. Meanwhile, on Thursday the police detained a fourth detainee. According to the police, the detainee was actively involved in the clash, but succeeded in avoiding detention after he escaped from the policemen who were chasing him. On Friday, the detainee was brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court where his remand was extended until Monday. In response Honenu filed an appeal with the district court on the remand extension. Due to lack of time, the appeal was judged only this morning by Judge Drori, who decided to release the detainee to house arrest with permission to attend prayers in synagogue. Judge Drori criticized the police and the decision of the Jerusalem Magistrate Court in light of what he considers “weak evidence” against the detainee. Last Thursday, two Arabs with a donkey approached the area of Havat Har Sinai in Susiya. The two acted suspiciously and ignored the demands of the residents to leave the site. After a short while, and after repeated requests to the army went unanswered, several residents of Havat Har Sinai came out again in order to drive the Arabs away. A clash developed at the scene during which it became clear that the “Arabs” were policemen in disguise who had arrived in order to entrap right-wing activists whom the police suspected of injuring Arabs in the area. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who represented the detainee released today, reported in response, “The district court accepted the appeal and ordered the release of the detainee and also leveled criticism on the weak evidence that the police had against him and the fact that the police did not take into consideration that the court itself had already released the other suspects in the case. We hope that after all of the detainees are released, we will be able to focus on how the police and the Attorney General’s office authorized such a dangerous ambush in an area known for terror attacks. Only by a miracle did the operation end as it did.”

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