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King David’s Tomb detainees conditionally released

Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 10:16 At a deliberation on Monday, June 20, for the youths detained earlier the same day as they attempted to block the entrance of Christians to the King David’s Tomb complex on Mt. Zion, the police representative revealed that Christians have planned more events for the coming month at the site. Out of the dozens of Jews who attempted to prevent the entrance of Christians to the site, six were detained for interrogation at the police station, two of whom were brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court for a deliberation. Jewish worshipers at the site report that policemen brutally beat them. In a video clip publicized by Honenu, a policeman is seen knocking a Jewish worshiper to the ground and then kicking him. The detainees received legal counsel from Honenu Attorney Rehavia Piltz at the police station. In the afternoon Piltz sent a letter to the Merchav David (Old City) Police Commander Chief Superintendent Doron Turgeman describing a serious incident of a Yassam (Special Forces) policeman shoving a Jew holding a Sefer Torah, which fell to the ground. At the court deliberation the police demanded that the two youths, one of them a minor, detained during clashes at the King David’s Tomb complex on suspicion of assaulting a policeman and disorderly conduct, be banned for two months from entering the Old City of Jerusalem. During the deliberation the police representative stated that the ban is necessary in light of the additional events planned by Christians for the coming month at the site. In order that Jews opposed to the entrance of Christians would not be aware of the exact timing, the representative refused to specify any dates. Honenu Attorney Ze’ev Wolf, who represented the detainees, mentioned at the deliberation that the police prevented the entrance of Jews to the complex while the entrance of Christians wearing crosses was allowed. Their entrance caused a disturbance, during which the policemen beat Jewish worshipers. The detainees denied that they had assaulted policemen and pleaded that they had been assaulted by policemen. Judge Keren Miller released the minor on condition of a bond. The other youth was released on condition of a one-month ban on entering the Old City of Jerusalem. Honenu Attorney Ze’ev Wolf: “Unfortunately once again it turns out that the police are a cause of incitement, and use needless, extreme violence in order to limit and prevent the access of Jews to holy sites while allowing unlimited access to members of other religions. As was shown in the video clip presented to the court, the police brutally treated the Jews who arrived at the King David’s Tomb complex. One of the significantly absurd claims by the police in court was that the two Jewish detainees pose a danger during the month of Ramadan. It is well known that during the month of Ramadan the danger to Jews is greater and there is a greater likelihood of terror attacks. A short time ago we celebrated Jerusalem Day, but to our great sorrow Jews in Jerusalem continued to be discriminated against concerning access to holy sites.”

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