Yeshiva students call “Shema Yisrael” through loudspeaker, one detained

Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 16:32 On the night of Tuesday, September 15, after the close of the Rosh HaShana holiday, dozens of rioting Arabs launched firecrackers and threw rocks at border policemen near the Beit Orot neighborhood complex in Jerusalem. Approximately half an hour after the Arabs started launching firecrackers, several yeshiva students at Yeshivat Beit Orot decided to respond with calls of “Shema Yisrael” and other short traditional prayers through a loudspeaker towards the rioters. The border policemen, who had not responded to either the firecrackers or the rocks, very quickly stormed the yeshiva complex and attempted to confiscate the loudspeaker, claiming that the calls were “agitating the Arabs”. One of the students, a recently discharged soldier who had served as a squad commander in a combat unit, went out to the courtyard at the entrance of the complex in which the loudspeaker is located and attempted to clarify whether the police had a valid reason to confiscate the loudspeaker. When he claimed that there was no legal cause to confiscate the loudspeaker, the policemen confronted him, took his personal weapon, a pistol, and violently detained him, twisted his arms and claimed that he was interfering with the confiscation of the loudspeaker. According to the student the commander of the police force kneed him during the detention. Policemen also assaulted a student who documented the detention. The detained student was taken from the scene and brought to the police station while his hands were handcuffed behind his back. He reported that he was taken to a room without air conditioning and left in a corner with his face to the wall for an extended period of time with his hands still handcuffed behind his back, in violation of regulations and in a demeaning manner. Only after Honenu attorney Rehavia Piltz arrived at the police station did the policemen agree to release the student’s arms from behind his back and handcuff his hands in front. The student was interrogated on suspicion of assaulting a policeman and disturbing the public order. He denied all charges and was released at approximately 2:00 a.m. The policemen returned the loudspeaker to the yeshiva during the course of the night. Honenu: “Instead of acting decisively against rioting Arabs and terrorists who injure Jews in Jerusalem on a regular basis, the policemen act decisively against Jewish residents. The claim that calls of “Shema Yisrael” through a loudspeaker towards dozens of terrorists already throwing rocks and launching firecrackers agitate them is outrageous, and indicates the mood of the police. We will consider filing a suit against the policemen for the false detention of the student.” Honenu attorney Rehavia Piltz stated that, “It is a shame that the police exhibited decisiveness when dealing with yeshiva students who operated a loudspeaker, but inactivity and weakness when dealing with rioting Arabs who morning and night launch firecracker barrages at Yeshivat Beit Orot.”

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