Updated: Aug 25
Sunday, July 31, 2023, 17:44 In an initiative led by MK Limor Son Har-Melech, Knesset members from the Otzma Yehudit party wrote a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant demanding that they cancel the administrative detentions served to eight Yehuda and Shomron residents after the June 20 terror attack in Eli. The administrative detention orders were signed by Minister Gallant. All of the Otzma Yehudit MKs, Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, Minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf, Minister Amichai Eliyahu, MK Limor Son Har-Melech, MK Yitzhak Kroizer, MK Almog Cohen, and MK Tzvika Fogel, signed the letter.
In their letter, the Knesset members cited that some of the administrative detainees are friends of the Eli terror attack victims and mentioned that the current number of administrative detainees is the highest in 40 years: "Several weeks ago, four Jews were murdered in a terror attack in the community of Eli: Elisha Anteman (18) Hy"d, Ofer Fairman (63) Hy"d, Nachman Mordoff (17) Hy"d, and Harel Masoud (21) Hy"d. Two days after the horrific murder, four of Harel and Nachman's close friends were detained. The detainees were interrogated by the GSS while they were prevented from meeting with an attorney. Several days later, when one of them was released by court order, and the release of the others was imminent, they were served with administrative detention orders for 4-6 months. Several days later, another order against an additional youth was signed. Starting from the formation of the current government, as of now, 12 administrative detention orders have been served to youths from Yehuda and Shomron. This is a record number of detention orders served to Jews under the various governments for the past 40 years. This is more than the total number of detention orders that were served during the Rabin administration.
The Otzma Yehudit MKs emphasized that administrative detentions are meant to be applied to an enemy and there is no reason to use them on Yehuda and Shomron residents: "We vehemently oppose these orders and call on you to cancel them immediately. One must not reconcile oneself to a situation in which a defense minister has a 'revolving door policy', where the court releases detainees for lack of evidence, and the defense minister imprisons them. Administrative restrictive orders, and all the more so administrative detention orders, should be reserved for extreme scenarios in which our enemies pose a tangible and fundamental danger to the security of the State. Such orders must not be used against youths in Yehuda and Shomron."
MK Limor Son Har-Melech added, "I strongly denounce the administrative detention orders that were issued by Defense Minister Gallant during the past few weeks and those that he issued during the past few months. Eight detainees – an all-time record for administrative detainees! Minister Gallant, who failed in the defense of Israeli citizens, found his usual scapegoats, brave, heroic youths from Yehuda and Shomron who are not willing to accept the abandonment of their lives and those of their people. When we tried to legislate a law that would allow the administrative detention of criminals who are considered 'ticking time bombs' and liable to murder at any given moment, the judicial system adamantly refused the bill. However, when it comes to Jewish youths, Gallant, eager to abuse them, signs on their fate with the wave of a pen, and the judicial system falls silent. How can this be? Whoever thinks that this will be overlooked is greatly mistaken. We will continue to fight this disgraceful injustice."