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Police harass family on Seder Night

Wednesday, March 27, 20:21 The high security alert due to the Passover holiday didn’t get in the way of the Jerusalem Police who conducted a surprise check at the home of H. on Monday, March 25 during the Passover Seder to ensure that she was not violating her house arrest, even though it ended a week previously. Honenu states that, “The police do not know how to admit defeat in the legal arena.” H.’s family was conducting their Seder according to custom until loud knocks at the door disrupted the meal. In the doorway stood policemen from the Jerusalem Police who requested confirmation that H. had not violated her house arrest. H., who was at home with her family for the holiday, explained to the policeman that her house arrest had ended already a week ago, after the district court lifted the restriction following a appeal filed by Honenu. The explanation given by H. and her parents did not convince the police who insisted that H. was still under house arrest and that she must present a form of identification. The family’s Seder was interrupted while they looked for and found H.’s ID card. After she presented the card the policemen informed the family – a religious family who would not answer the telephone on Shabbat or a holiday – that they would be in contact with them by telephone during the holiday. The parents, of course, refused to answer the telephone on a holiday. “Perhaps we were singing loudly and did not immediately notice, but at some point it was impossible not to notice the loud, strong knocks at the door,” said H.’s mother. “We were very startled at first and thought that G-d forbid something terrible had happened. Then one of the boys opened the door.” The ‘mistake’ that the police chose to make, particularly on Seder Night, angered H.’s mother. “It is very strange to think that they didn’t know that she had already been released from house arrest a week ago. After all, they know how to locate anyone at any given time with the technological means that they have. Their choice to come in the middle of Seder Night does not seem to me to be coincidental,” she concluded. H. was detained two weeks ago at Ramat Migron, an outpost in the Binyamin region, after a group of left-wing activists and Arabs from a nearby village arrived and began to plow in the area between the houses. Considering their presence to be a security risk, residents of Ramat Migron tried to remove the Arabs and left-wing activists from the site and clashes developed. However, security forces that arrived on the scene decided to remove the Jewish residents from the site and allowed the plowing to continue. Later in the day, from the area of Ramat Migron, the Arabs threw rocks at Jewish vehicles traveling on Route 60. At least one vehicle was damaged. During the clashes H. and several of her friends were detained on a claim that they had assaulted a public servant and were also accused of resisting detention. Eye witnesses reported that the detainees, one of them a young pregnant woman, were detained very violently by the police. One of the witnesses who recorded the violence was beaten and had his camera taken away from him by the police. The camera was returned only after the incriminating video clips were deleted. The detainees were held in remand for two days and then released to house arrest, which was canceled after Honenu successfully filed a appeal with the district court. Honenu accused the police of deliberate harassment, “It is surprising that on a tense day of high alert such as Seder Night the Jerusalem Police found the time to harass a young woman and disturb her entire family. It appears that the Jerusalem Police do not know how to admit defeat in the legal arena.”

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