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Will Ben Uliel pray in a minyan on Yom Kippur?

Updated: Mar 1


Amiram Ben Uliel; Photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/POOL
Amiram Ben Uliel; Photo credit: Avshalom Sassoni

Sunday, September 27, 2020, 9:13 Update: Sunday, September 27, 2020, 14:10 Be’er Sheva District Court Judge Shlomo Friedlander ruled that an acceptable partition must be placed around the squat toilet and if that is not possible then Ben Uliel must be allowed a place acceptable to Jewish law to pray outside of his cell. However he will not be able to pray with a minyan.

The Prison Service has refused to allow Amiram Ben Uliel to pray in a minyan on Yom Kippur. Today, the hours before the onset of Yom Kippur, the Be’er Sheva District Court will hand down a verdict on the petition filed by Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir on behalf of Ben Uliel. In the petition Ben Uliel requested the opportunity to pray in a minyan on Yom Kippur. Attorney Ben Gvir pointed out that terrorist murderers are allowed to pray in a group. Also, Ben Uliel is being held in a small cell with a squat toilet in the center of the cell, which according to Jewish law prevents him from praying in his cell. The Prison Service submitted a response to the court, in which they admit that the terrorists are allowed to pray in a group, but explain that with Ben Uliel the situation is different. Additionally, the Prison Service entered into argument of Jewish law, stating that it was permissible to pray next to the squat toilet if a partition separates between it and the worshiper. This morning, the eve of Yom Kippur, Attorney Ben Gvir must respond to the court and then the judge is expected to hand down a decision. Attorney Itamar Ben Gvir leveled sharp criticism at the Prison Service: “The fact that the Prison Service admitted that Arab murderers are granted group prayers, but Amiram Ben Uliel is forbidden prayer in a minyan, even on Yom Kippur, the most important day of the year for every Jew, indicates that not only has the Prison Service not internalized that Israel is a Jewish country, but rather they discriminate against a Jewish prisoner by not granting him the opportunity to fulfill the commandments of his religion.” Since the July 2015 arson attack on the Dawabsheh family’s house in Kfar Duma, Honenu has assisted many Jews accused of involvement with the crime. For a selection of posts describing Honenu Attorneys’ representation of defendants and GSS interrogatees, see here. To familiarize our readers with the case, Honenu has gathered – see here – various articles and short videos on the subject.

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