Mosque arson detainees released

Tuesday, July 24, 11:00 Once again a mosque arson incident investigation ended quietly for lack of evidence. Today the court ordered the release of the suspects in the Kfar Jaba mosque arson incident to house arrest until Thursday of next week. The police agreed to the house arrest. At the Jerusalem District Court this morning another mosque arson saga came to a close. Last Wednesday security forces detained two minors in simultaneous raids on Havat Gilad and Ramat Migron. The detainees were taken to the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police Station in Ma’ale Adumim where they were interrogated on suspicion of involvement with the mosque arson in Kfar Jaba, an Arab village near the community of Adam in the Binyamin region, approximately one month ago. The arson occurred very close to the time that the Ulpana Neighborhood in Beit El was evacuated and near the arson site graffiti reading “Price Tag Givat Ulpana” was found. At the time of the detention the police claimed that they had extensive evidence implicating the detainees in the arson. On the day following their detention the detainees were brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court so that the judge could decide on a demand from the police to extend their remand. The judge agreed to extend the remand by only five days, five less than the police demanded. Honenu, which is representing the youths, filed an appeal on the remand. The following day Jerusalem District Court Judge Tzvi Segal ruled on the appeal. Despite his rejection of the appeal filed by Honenu, Judge Segal noted that the evidence is weak and if there is no development in the investigation the two would be released on Monday. Yesterday (Monday) Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Miriam Lifshitz decided to release the two detainees. According to her there has been no progress in the investigation and the evidence itself is weak. The judge ruled that the youths would post 4,000 NIS bail and remain under house arrest until this Friday. Also she ordered that they be released only the following day (today). Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who represented the youths, filed an appeal with the district court on the release conditions. The police concurrently filed an appeal on the release from remand. This morning the two sides reached an agreement whereby the youths would be released to house arrest until Thursday of next week without having to post bail. In response to the release of the detainees Honenu attorney Adi Kedar said that, “The Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police has produced yet another account of a mosque arson which has been proven baseless. We hope very much that the Israeli Police reach the proper conclusion and in the future will not rush to detain suspects, especially minors, whose involvement with an incident is doubtful.”

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