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Police refuse authorization for rally near Shechem

Sunday, July 3 17:47 Last week “Homesh First” requested authorization to hold a protest rally and prayers near Shechem, for those who do not have room in the authorized entry to Joseph’s Tomb that will take place this evening, the day after the Yartzeit of “Yosef HaTzadik”. Time after time the police rejected the request of “Homesh First” and even refused to authorize the rally at the Tapuah junction, far from the tomb. After Shabbat Honenu Attorney Naftali Wertzberger filed a petition to the Supreme Court against the police demanding that the rally be held. This afternoon a deliberation took place, partly behind closed doors. During the deliberation the Officer of the Operations Branch Headquarters of the Yehuda and Shomron Division Ze’ev Gotsman and the Lieutenant Commander of the Shomron Region Shmuel Hershkovitz claimed that they have intelligence material concerning the intention of thousands of people to reach Shechem. The officers refused even to offer as a compromise that the rally could take place in the city of Ariel, because they claimed that the mob would march from there to the city of Shechem and Joseph’s Tomb. Attorney Naftali Wertzberger claimed that the police are relying on insubstantial intelligence material in order to prevent the rally. It should be noted that the police and the IDF authorized the entry of 20 buses only, while there are at least 60 organized buses supposed to reach Shechem this evening. At the end of the deliberation the police suggested holding the rally the Alphei Menashe checkpoint, however attorney Wertzberger refused and explained that to him it was the same as K’far Saba. At the deliberation also the aide to the investigations officer of the Shomron region Gil Desha was present. In the end Honenu Attorney Wertzberger withdrew the petition because he did not want to create a precedent by holding the rally at the Alphei Menashe crossing. “Garin Shechem” sent a response that, “The connection to Joseph’s Tomb is a bond that will not be broken. We will continue our efforts to renew the bond with Joseph’s Tomb and Shechem without the Supreme Court and without ‘B’Tselem’.”

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