One more detainee in Itamar incident case

Thursday, January 29, 2015, 10:52 A resident of the Shomron, approximately 30 years old, was summoned to give testimony about the Saturday, January 3 incident near Itamar during which Arab rioters suspected of attacking IDF forces were injured. When he arrived at the police station on the night of Wednesday, January 28 he was detained. A Honenu attorney will represent him at a deliberation on Thursday, January 29. He is the fifth detainee in the case. The first detainees, two rapid response squad members, one from Itamar and the other from the Rekhes HaGidonim hilltop community adjacent to Itamar, were detained on January 20 on suspicion of injuring the Arab rioters. They gave testimony that they had shot into the air in order to extricate a soldier in an army Hummer who was being attacked by dozens of rioting Arabs. The following day they were released. Two additional Rekhes HaGidonim rapid response squad members were summoned for interrogation by the Department of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police on suspicion of involvement in the above-mentioned incident and detained when they reported for interrogation on January 25. Petah Tikva Magistrate Court Judge Amit Michaels ruled to release one of the detainees against whom the likelihood of there being a reasonable suspicion was, “extremely slight, if at all,” but nevertheless conditioned his release on a two-day complete house arrest. Judge Michaels extended the remand of the other detainee by two days. On Wednesday, January 28 the remand of one of the Rekhes Gidonim rapid response squad members detained on January 25 was extended until Sunday, February 1. On Thursday, January 29 a deliberation will take place at the Lod District Court on the appeal filed by Honenu on the decision to extend his remand. Honenu attorney Aharon Roza will represent the detainee. At a deliberation on the case on Monday, January 26, a police representative admitted that during the January 3 incident dozens of rioting Arabs attempted to lynch a soldier who was was left alone in a Hummer after other soldiers with him had distanced themselves from the vehicle. The incident began when rapid response squads from Itamar and the adjacent Rekhes HaGidonim hilltop community and also IDF soldiers were called to the area of Itamar to search for a flock of sheep stolen from the adjacent hilltop community Givat Alumot. The flock was located, however during the searches a concern arose that Jewish children herding another flock had been kidnapped and therefore additional forces were called up for additional searches. During the searches hundreds of rioting Arabs from the village of Akrava approached and began to attack the security forces as they searched. Honenu regards the handling by the police of the investigation as a failure: “How is it that the police continue to detain residents [of Itamar and Rekhes HaGidonim], including members of the rapid response squads, despite the fact that they admitted in court that dozens of Arabs had attempted to lynch the driver of an IDF Hummer?” wonder Honenu. “Additionally it has come to light that also many soldiers, among them officers, fired a very large number of warning shots into the air after they were attacked by the Arab mob. This harassment of residents and security forces is a scandal.”

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