Police investigator in court – “Jews have no reason to enter East Jerusalem”

Tuesday, April 5 16:42 Last night two Jews were arrested in the Old City of Jerusalem on their way to Circling the Walls of Jerusalem. The two, a resident of the Binyamin region and a resident of Jerusalem, were traveling through Wadi Joz when suddenly two Arab vehicles began to chase them. Near the Lions’ Gate the vehicles passed them and blocked them. A number of young Arabs came out of the vehicles and claimed that the vehicle in which the Jews were traveling scratched one of the Arabs’ vehicles. More Arabs began to gather at the scene and “A”, the driver of the car, called the police that were standing nearby in order to complain that the Arabs were threatening them, blocking them for no reason and that he didn’t scratch the Arabs’ vehicle. The policemen decided to believe the Arabs and searched the Jews’ car. The police even brought a police sapper who examined the car to the astonishment of the car’s owner. Afterwards the two were arrested on a claim of hampering a policeman and possessing racist material inciting against Arabs. The alleged “inciting material” found in the vehicle was a report from the Human Rights Organization in YESHA which claims discrimination against settlers by the police. This morning the two were brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court for a deliberation on the police request to extend their remand. An Arab police investigator by the name Harav Kahar stationed at the Shalem Police Station, submitted confidential material to the court and requested that their remand be extended by 48 hours. The investigator explained that “the incident took place in East Jerusalem and the detainees had no business being there. They claimed that they were on their way to the Western Wall, but that isn’t the customary way to the Western Wall.” Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who represented the two, was astonished by the words of the investigator and explained that Wadi Joz is a central route to the Western Wall and that all Jews are allowed to go anywhere in the State, certainly in the capital city of Jerusalem. “Would you say the same thing about an Arab who was walking in a Jewish neighborhood?” asked Honenu attorney HaLevi of the police investigator. During the deliberation Honenu attorney HaLevi claimed that the two were beaten by the policeman who arrested them and that the policeman refused to identify himself. Honenu attorney HaLevi requested identifying information of the policeman from the police investigator but he refused to give it. Additionally the detainees claimed that the police refused to allow the owner of the vehicle to be present during the search. Judge Irit Cohen rejected the police request and released the two on bail with a monetary deposit. Honenu attorney David HaLevi responded to the arrest and said that, “The decision to immediately release my clients speaks for itself. The claim that my clients possessed material inciting against Arabs when in their vehicle was a report on human rights is completely preposterous. Also is the claim that my clients had no business being in East Jerusalem, when at the time they were on their way to the Western Wall. Unfortunately we get the impression that my clients’ arrest was a “punishment” placed on them as a result of their adamant stand for their rights. My clients do not plan to let their meaningless arrest go quietly and in the coming days we will consider our next steps.”

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