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Picard given 24 hours to get organized

Thursday, May 18, 2017, 21:26 On Wednesday, May 17, the Ofer Military Court ruled on the appeal filed by Elkana Picard on his administrative distancing order, which is signed by the GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Roni Numa. The order distances Picard from his home for four months and requires him to sign-in every Friday at the Ma’aleh Adumim Police Station. The decision will be given at a later date, and in the meantime the military court gave Picard 24 hours to organize himself and part with his family. Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, who represented Picard at the deliberation, pleaded against using administrative restrictive orders in general and in specific against issuing one to Picard. At the close of the deliberation the judge postponed the decision until a later date and allowed Picard to return home until 12:00 on Thursday, for the purpose of organizing himself and parting with his family. Picard is the father of six children and a contractor who works with Jewish-only labor. His home is a popular meeting place for “hill-top youth”. They eat Shabbat meals with him, confide in him, and from time to time Picard hosts Torah classes. When he was informed of the intent to serve him with an administrative order, he was also told by a representative of the GSS that if he ceased hosting youth in his home the order would not be served to him. Picard’s neighbors in Yitzhar arranged a farewell event with the participation of all of the community’s educational institutions. The event is part of recent protest activity, the height of which was the announcement on Wednesday, May 17, by Yitzhar’s secretariat to the IDF that all communication between Yitzhar and the IDF will be only through Elkana Picard, “as long as the [administrative] order is valid, any and all communication with all branches of the security forces (other than continuous security activity) will take place only with Elkana, because Elkana is Yitzhar and Yitzhar is Elkana,” they wrote to Major-General Numa. Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, who is representing Picard, stated that, “During the deliberation our hands were tied because the main verdict was composed behind closed doors on the basis of evidence which was not presented to us and also claims and interpretations which were not voiced to us. The State of Israel has chosen to deal with wide segments of the population of Yehuda and Shomron by dictatorial means.”

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