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Yitzhar resident’s detention based on weak testimony

Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 20:36 On Tuesday, June 23, in a dawn raid by police detectives and Yassam (Special Forces) police on a home in Yitzhar, a resident was detained on suspicion of involvement with an incident that occurred approximately six weeks previously in which Jews threw rocks at Arab vehicles near Yitzhar following an incident in which Arabs threw fire bombs at Jews driving on the road. The detainee was taken in for interrogation. At a deliberation on the case on June 23 the court rejected the police demand to extend the detainee’s remand by six days and extended it by one day only in its ruling that there is one investigatory procedure which necessitates keeping the detainee in remand. At the deliberation it became known that the basis for suspecting the detainee is the testimony of an IDF soldier who claims that one of the Jews throwing rocks was “blond haired with a red beard,” a description which fits many Shomron residents and certainly cannot indicate that a suspect participated in an incident. The Yitzhar resident detained in this case does not have a red beard and therefore does not even match the soldier’s description. Also the testimony of the soldier was given approximately one month previous to the detention and it is not clear why the police refrained from summoning the suspect for interrogation, then suddenly “remembered” to detain him. In the court’s decision the judge criticized the police for arriving at the suspect’s home at dawn, despite the fact that he has a family, instead of summoning him to an interrogation in the proper manner. However the judge also wrote that, “This oversight is not sufficient cause to release the suspect.” Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, who is representing the detainee, stated that, “This is a scandal. A soldier who said that one of the rock throwers was blond haired with a red beard brought about a detention, a false detention, which was carried out over a month after the testimony was given, without any explanation for the illogical delay.”

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