Remand extended on suspects in mosque arson

Thursday, July 19, 18:16 The remand of two minors detained on suspicion of involvement with the mosque arson in Kfar Jaba approximately one month ago, supposedly in response to the evacuation of the Ulpana Neighborhood in Beit El, has been extended, Honenu reports. The two youths were detained yesterday during the late morning hours in a police raid on Havat Gilad in the Shomron and on Ramat Migron in Binyamin. At the site of the mosque graffiti reading “Price Tag Givat Ulpana” was found. The two were taken to the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police Station in Ma’ale Adumim where they were interrogated during the day yesterday and spent the night. Today they were brought to a deliberation at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court before Judge Tamar Bar-Asher Tsaban. The police presented material which they had classified as confidential to the court for review. Also, representatives of the police refused to answer questions posed by Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who is representing the youths, concerning details of the interrogation and evidence, if there is any. In conclusion, the police representatives demanded a remand extension of ten days on the youths. Judge Bar-Asher Tsaban partially accepted the demand and extended the remand until this coming Monday. Later, a third suspect, an adult on whom the police demanded a remand extension of seven days, was brought before Judge Bar-Asher Tsaban. Also in this deliberation, the police refused to answer questions posed by Honenu attorney Kedar. The adult had been detained yesterday in Ramat Migron with his wife. The husband and wife were interrogated at the Sha’ar Binyamin Police Station and after several hours of interrogation the wife was released. As stated, the remand of the husband was extended until the deliberation today. Judge Bar-Asher Tsaban extended the remand of the third suspect until this coming Sunday. Currently it is not clear if the third suspect is also suspected of involvement with the mosque arson. Associates of the detainees report that this is not the first time that suspects have been detained on suspicion of mosque arson and quietly released later. As of this time, not one indictment has been issued in any mosque arson case, they added. Honenu notes that only yesterday a minor suspected of a “price tag” incident was released to house arrest. The police quickly announced that after his detention the suspect admitted to puncturing the tires of Arab vehicles for nationalist motives. However, Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who is representing the detainee, pleaded that the admission was made under threat that the family of the detainee would be harmed by summoning them for interrogation and that he was assured that if he confessed he would be released. Yesterday, the Jerusalem Magistrate Court released the suspect after it became clear that at most the issue was vandalism as a result of a personal dispute and not out of nationalistic motivation. Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who represented the suspect, said in response to his client’s release that, “The remand of my client which began loudly yesterday ended today quietly with his release, in a manner which speaks for itself. Friends of the detainee said that approximately half a year ago the GSS tried to recruit him to report information about right-wing activists in return for a monthly salary. The youth refused the request of the GSS agents and according to his friends there is likely a connection between the failed attempt to recruit him and the accusations linking him to ‘price tag’ incidents.”

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