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MK Yogev calls for oversight on the GSS

Sunday, January 6, 2019, 11:43 On the morning of Sunday, January 6, Member of Knesset Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) demanded that Avi Dichter, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, take steps to monitor and oversee the Jewish Department of the GSS. MK Yogev is of the opinion that an official must be aware of what is happening with detained youth, and stated that, “There must be supervision of the Jewish Department of the GSS.” MK Yogev also demanded that the Attorney General oversee what happens in GSS facilities, particularly in the Jewish Department. MK Yogev emphasized that he opposes acts of terror and taking the law into one’s own hands and he does not identify with such actions, if in fact they occurred. However he also emphasized that it is unthinkable that the GSS detains youths and does whatever they want with them: “We have already experienced the Duma case, because of which there are damaged youths sitting at home, who are not necessarily guilty.” And added: “On one hand, enforcement of law and order is necessary. On the other there must be supervision of the Jewish Department of the GSS. It cannot be that for youths here it will be like it was in the KGB dungeons of Russia, in which people disappeared and no-one could oversee what was happening. This isn’t Russia here. This is democratic and and Jewish Israel. If necessary, whomever needs to be penalized will be, but whomever needs to supervised, must be.” At approximately midnight on the night of Saturday, January 5, Honenu Attorneys Adi Keidar and Nati Rom and Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir completed a visit with the three minors detained on the previous Sunday, who were allowed to meet with their attorneys for the first time after a week of being held in remand by the GSS and under an order preventing them, in violation of their rights, from meeting with an attorney. Two minors detained afterwards remain in remand and under an order preventing them from meeting with an attorney. After the visit the attorneys stated that, “As we have asserted from the start, our clients are not connected in any way to the case. They do not have any connection to the case and the GSS does not have any evidence connecting them to the act. “The order preventing us from meeting with the minors stemmed from unacceptable considerations, and its sole purpose was to extract false confessions from the interrogated detainees, a process which did not succeed. The youths clearly denied all connection to the act, and unfortunately they were interrogated also on Shabbat. On Saturday night, after Shabbat approximately 1,000 demonstrators gathered opposite the residence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in protest of the detention of minors by the GSS. A video clip of Rabbi Chaim Druckman was screened at the protest: “I am turning to the Prime Minister with a request from the depths of my heart to order the immediate release of the minors, the three youths detained by the GSS. If there is any problem, it would be appropriate to interrogate them as anyone is interrogated in the State of Israel, but by no means whatsoever, not in the dungeons of the GSS.” Rabbi Krakover, the Rabbi of Kochav HaShahar, called for the Jewish Department of the GSS to be stripped of its authority due to their inability to use it properly. On Sunday, January 6, at 13:00 a deliberation is expected to be held at the Rishon LeTzion Magistrates Court on the case of the minors being remanded by the GSS. At this time two youths are prevented from meeting with an attorney. At 15:00, at the Rishon LeTzion Magistrates Court, Honenu Attorneys Adi Keidar and Nati Rom and Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir, who are representing the minors, are expected to hold a press conference at which they will detail what the youths have endured while being held in remand by the GSS. The interrogations included serious violation of their rights and illegal acts by the GSS interrogators.

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