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Youths hiking near Tzfat detained by GSS in supposedly routine check

Monday, May 18, 2015, 10:56 On Sunday, May 17 three Jewish youths hiking near Ma’ayan Ein Kubas, a spring near Tzfat in the Galilee region, were surprised when police detectives, Yassam (Special Forces) policemen, and agents from the Jewish Department of the GSS arrived on the scene. The security forces claimed that they were carrying out “routine checks”, examined the personal details of the youths, who are clearly identifiable as “hilltop youth” by their long payot and large kippot, and then announced that the youths were being taken in for interrogation due to their “violating conditions”. None of the three youths understood the reason for the detention because none of them are under an order forbidding them from either entering the area of Tzfat or being in contact with each other. The youths were taken to the Rosh Pina Police Station. There the police changed their minds and stated that the youths were not suspected of anything, but were being taken to the station so that they could give testimony describing their actions in the north of the country. All of the youths were questioned by police interrogators who demanded to know where they intended to hike and who owned the car in which they traveled. After the interrogation they were released. “The police claimed the entire time that it was a ‘routine check’,” said one of the youths. “It is apparently very ‘routine’ for coordinators of the Jewish Department of the GSS together with [police] detectives and Yassam forces, who were summoned from Haifa according to what they told us, to check hikers in the Galilee…”. The three youths are considering suing the police for false detention due to the lack of legal grounds for bringing them into the police station. Honenu: “The police and the GSS have set as a goal for themselves relentlessly pursuing youth who ardently support the people, the Torah, and the land of Israel. Again and again the police increase to extremes violations of the most basic rights of citizens. We hope that the youths do file a suit against the policemen and the agents from the Jewish Department of the GSS who abused their authority and that those responsible for harassing and falsely detaining the youths will be punished.”

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