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Picard threatened with distancing order

Thursday, January 18, 2018, 11:26 During the week of Sunday, January 14, Elkana Picard, a Yitzhar resident, received a call from a GSS agent who identified himself as “Avichai” and threatened him with an order distancing him from his home. “I suggest that you watch yourself and don’t take us back to half a year ago. It wasn’t good then, particularly not for you. I hope that you got the message,” said Avichai to Picard. Picard is the youth coordinator of Yitzhar and among his duties works with hill-top youth. “Half a year ago” Picard was distanced from his home by an administrative order because he frequently hosted hill-top youth. The distancing order sparked a wide-spread wave of protest in social media and demonstrations, which raised even more opposition to the intent to distance Picard from his home. Honenu director Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad voiced his objection to the ease with which someone can be distanced from his family and his home: “It’s crazy. Today anyone who works for the GSS has too much freedom to issue administrative distancing and detention orders. And they issue distancing orders to heads of household according to whim, not on the basis of evidence or after a trial. This is anarchy and the embodiment of corruption. “Many judges rule on violations of administrative orders and most of the time they empathize with the defendants. For now, off the record, many judges say, ‘I’m sorry, but I am authorized only to rule on the question of whether or not there was a violation.’ It’s a wonder that until now not even one judge has publicly expressed an opinion in public or on the record opposing this corrupt and alarming norm. This is exactly how they [the GSS] circumvent the law and the court.” In a related incident, recently a Yishuv HaDa’at resident received a threatening phone call from a GSS agent who identified himself as “Chayim” and said: “Don’t try me. You’ll suffer from it. I’ll kick you out of the area. You will lose.” Honenu Attorney Adi Kedar responded to the incident: “This conduct is criminal and violent, unprecedented, from a public figure towards a citizen who did not carry out any violation. A complaint will be filed and we will demand that he is penalized to the full extent of the law.”

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