Remand extended on Itamar rapid response squad member
Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 21:37 The Petah Tikva Magistrate Court extended the remand of the two rapid response squad members, one from Itamar and the other from the adjacent Rekhes HaGidonim hilltop community. They were detained on Tuesday, January 20, on suspicion of involvement with an incident on January 3 in which Arabs were injured in a clash with soldiers and the rapid response squad near the Arab village of Akrava. According to the police two Arabs were shot during the incident. The rapid response squad members reported that they fired in the air in order to extricate the driver of an IDF Hummer who was attacked by Arab rioters while the other soldiers with him had distanced themselves from the vehicle. During the deliberation it became known that despite the fact that one of the detainees had been interrogated two days after the incident and had given the same testimony the police did not bother to take testimony from the soldiers who were attacked during the incident. Such testimony would have assisted in understanding what happened during the incident and could possibly have eliminated the necessity of detaining the rapid response squad members. Investigators from the Department of Nationalist Crime in the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police requested a four-day remand extension for both of the detainees. Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who is representing both of the detainees, asserts that neither of the detainees is capable of interfering with the investigation because photographs of the incident have already been publicized in the social media and almost three weeks have passed since it occurred. Kedar therefore demanded that the detainees be released immediately. Judge Amit Michaels partially accepted the police request and ordered the detainees’ remand extended until Thursday, January 22. Kedar filed an appeal on the decision with the Lod District Court and criticized Judge Michaels’ decision. “We are stunned and surprised by the court’s decision which supports the Arab rioters and weakens the army and the rapid response squads, which are an integral part of the army, in their fight against the rioters.” One of the detainees is an outstanding soldier in an elite unit who was detained at his army base while serving active reserve duty.