Police sued for 70,000 NIS compensation over rights violations
For background information please see the list of links at the end.
L to R: Minor, his father, MK R. Ben-Dahan, Zangi; Photo credit: Honenu
Thursday, December 26, 2019, 15:31 A., who in 2016 was a 15-year-old minor repeatedly distanced from his home by administrative orders, has filed a suit against the Israeli Police, specifically the Central Unit of the Yeduda and Shomron Police, and against the Prison Service for a series of injustices done to him at that time. Among the injustices A. was led handcuffed in public against the law, underwent several unwarranted and illegal strip searches, and was falsely detained. The sum of the lawsuit, 70,000 NIS, is meant to constitute appropriate compensation for the non-financial damages caused to him. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “The rights of a minor were systematically trampled.” The lawsuit, filed by Bleicher with the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, opened with a description of the facts. A., who was 15 years old at the time, lived with his parents in the Shomron. He was served with several administrative orders, one of which prohibited him from staying in the Yehuda and Shomron regions for six months. Another order placed him under house arrest at night at his grandparents’ home in the Gush Dan region. The minor requested permission to change the location of his house arrest, which was denied. He then began an exhausting journey, wandering from place to place in search of an alternate location which was suitable for him and acceptable to the army commander supervising his house arrest. Initially the minor remained at his parents’ home because his efforts to find a location were futile. One night police forces came to detain the minor while he was at his parents’ home. They violently entered the home, searched every room and also, “lifted the blankets off of the complainant’s sleeping younger siblings, woke everybody up and caused a great panic.” In the end the policemen found the minor in a bedroom, in a guest unit attached to the main house, broke into the room through a window and detained the minor without identifying themselves to him. The minor did not resist the detention in any way. At the police station the minor was partially strip searched and then transferred to the Petah Tikva Magistrates Court “while he was led through the courthouse and outside of it – from the police car to the courtroom and back – handcuffed and leg-cuffed in front of everyone present at the courthouse.” Also afterwards the minor underwent complete strip searches and was again handcuffed in public, contrary to the Youth Law. Following that, the minor was required to update the Yehuda and Shomron Police by fax every evening by 17:00 as to where he would be staying under house arrest that night. Apparently due to a malfunctioning fax machine at the police station, the fax was received approximately five hours after the minor sent it. Without verifying the time that the fax had been sent, policemen from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police detained the minor, and this prevented him from attending a deliberation on a different matter in his case. The minor underwent another complete strip search, and was interrogated while handcuffed and leg-cuffed, without a logical reason. At the end of the proceedings the minor was exonerated of not being under house arrest at the original address, being as the police did not present any evidence that the fax was not sent on time. Also during the deliberations the minor underwent strip searches and was led in public while handcuffed and leg-cuffed. Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who filed the suit on behalf of the minor: “The rights of the 15-year-old minor were systematically, illegally and disproportionately trampled by the ‘law enforcement system’. The suit was filed over only some of the abuses, which are explicitly criminal violations of explicit laws. However the criminality described bears witness to the fact that the general conduct of the ‘law enforcement system’ was misuse of the law. “The minor suffered abuse during years of continuous administrative orders and baseless indictments, all of which ended with complete exoneration. Thank G-d, after all that the minor, who is now an adult, has amassed the strength to sue and demand that justice be done.” The suit concludes with a mention that fundamental rights were violated, among them violation of freedom and violation of dignity. The minor was severely humiliated, without cause, against the law. Accordingly the minor is suing for 70,000 NIS in compensation from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police and from the GSS. August 2, 2016: Knesset Committee discussed Yitzhar minor’s case August 1, 2016: Knesset Committee to hold deliberation on Yitzhar minor’s situation July 25, 2016: Yitzhar minor still harassed by police July 7, 2016: Yitzhar minor visits Knesset July 4, 2016: Yitzhar minor’s grandparents, friends harassed by police June 22, 2016: Social media protest: “A Bench for the Yitzhar Minor” June 22, 2016: National Council for the Child sent urgent letters to GOCs June 20, 2016: Minor to be forced to leave parents’ home June 8, 2016: Father of minor under administrative order sends letter to Defense Minister June 7, 2016: Hearing held for minor under impossible to fulfill house arrest June 5, 2016: Administrative order served to minor still cannot be implemented June 2, 2016: Administrative order served to minor cannot be implemented June 1, 2016: By administrative order, 15-year old youth banned from parents’ home