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Military court cancels administrative order

Thursday, November 24, 2016, 18:49 For the first time in over 10 years the Ofer Military Court of Appeals canceled an administrative order issued to a Jewish Shomron resident. In mid-November 2016, approximately two weeks after a one-year administrative order distancing Yosef Freisman from Yehuda and Shomron expired, the GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Roni Numa, issued him a three-month administrative order. Freisman, represented by Honenu, successfully appealed the order. The President of the Military Court of Appeals, Judge Col. Netanel Benisho, accepted the pleas made by Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who represented Freisman and petitioned against the order, and ruled that there is no evidence which justifies the administrative order. Judge Col. Benisho also ruled that from the information presented to him it seems that Freisman does not espouse violence as an ideology, is involved mainly with legitimate protest activities and even if in the past he was distanced because of a claim that he was involved with several violent incidents, they were not frequent enough or serious enough to justify such a drastic step. Honenu Attorney Yado pleaded that the order was given to Freisman solely because of the protest activities which he organizes, most of the time with authorization from the police, opposite the residences of public figures, including Maj-Gen. Numa, who signed the order. Judge Col. Benisho ruled that indeed, “The confidential material deals extensively with the protest activities that the appellant initiated and led,” but noted that according to the Central Command these activities were not the basis for issuing the order. Judge Col. Benisho ruled that, “Protest activities of this type do not justify, at all, the usage of heavy-handed administrative measures such as this,” and added that, “Examination of the appellant’s case brings me to the conclusion that the conditions necessitating extending the restrictions were not present.” Also, “Even if the appellant was involved in the past with certain violent acts, I did not find these acts to be serious enough to justify imposing administrative restrictions, certainly not a restriction prolonged for more than a year,” and “[Freisman] is not an individual who belongs to a violent organization and does not espouse violence as an ideology.” Furthermore Judge Col. Benisho ruled that even if certain acts of protest are liable to potentially turn violent, one must differentiate between them and planned violence carried out as part of a general ideology. Additionally Judge Col. Benisho ruled that his conclusions are strengthened by the information presented to him concerning Freisman’s conduct over recent months which, “does not include information about acts or intentions likely to indicate a significant and immediate security risk.” Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, who represented Freisman stated: “The decision reveals the usage by the security authorities of the confidential measure of an administrative order in order to illegally thwart legitimate public protest activities by settlers. Today the court reminded the army that it is not above the law. Such a reminder was definitely necessary. The decision has made a laughingstock out of the army’s boasting about supposed “security considerations” in order to issue heavy-handed administrative orders and reveals the full extent of the conduct of the security authority which issued an order lacking substance. The damage to citizens, to the fabric of society, and to the rule of the government in Israel must be stopped. We hope that the decision handed down today will assist with that.” Yosef Freisman also gave a response to the decision: “The cancellation of the order provides an opening for understanding the confusion and lack of identity already present for years in Israel. While Arabs are setting fires and rioting throughout Israel there are certain individuals who have chosen to fight those whose only occupation is legitimate protest. First of all I thank G-d for the kindness He did for me, Honenu for assisting detainees and recipients of distancing orders, every day, and I thank everyone who joined in protesting the order.”

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