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Youths released after police admit they were outside of closed military zone

Monday, June 6, 2016, 15:33 On Sunday, June 5, four youths from Achiya, including minors, were violently detained on suspicion of violating a closed military zone order and assaulting a policeman in the Shilo Bloc area. The incident began when Arabs, with the authorization of the army and the Civil Authority, came to the area adjacent to the community of Achiya for agricultural purposes. Due to the security risk posed by the presence of Arabs in that area, four youths from Achiya went to the area in order to observe what was happening. Policemen and soldiers presented the closed military zone order to them and after receiving an explanation of the boundaries of the zone they exited the zone and remained standing outside of it. Although the youths were outside of the closed military zone, more police, including a squad of Yassam (Special Forces) policemen, arrived and demanded that they move towards the community of Esh Kodesh. The youths explained that they had exited the forbidden area, and therefore did not have to distance themselves further. Nonetheless the policemen began to shove them and then violently detained them. Honenu Attorney Rehavia Piltz arrived at the Sha’ar Binyamin Police Station and noticed

Injured detainee; Photo credit: Honenu

Injured detainee; Photo credit: Honenu

signs of choking and bruises on two of the detainees, one of whom is a minor. “I arrived at the police station and found the detainees with signs of violence, which they said were caused by the policemen. One of the minors told me that a Yassam policeman took him aside, said, ‘There are no cameras here,’ and started to choke him and forcefully twist his arms,” said Piltz. “The police are apparently persecuting them, because they [the Achiya residents] are living on Givat Geulat Tzion, which the police and the ISA attempt to clear out every day.” The youths were brought to a deliberation at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court at which Honenu Attorney Avichai Hajbi represented them. The police demanded that the release of the four youths be on condition of a 60-day ban from the Shilo Bloc region and from Givat HaBaladim. The police also demanded that bail be posted in order to ensure compliance with the release conditions. During the deliberation a policeman testified that he had detained the youths and when questioned by Hajbi he confirmed that the detention had been carried out when they were outside of the closed military zone and that there were no legal grounds for demanding that they move in the direction of Esh Kodesh. Judge Richter ruled that there are no grounds for the police demands, and instead ordered that the youths be banned from entering the closed military zone adjacent to Esh Kodesh. Honenu Attorney Avichai Hajbi: “The policemen’s conduct was illegal. The court correctly accepted our opinion, limited the scope of the order and shortened its duration.”

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