Tuesday, January 17, 2017, 12:01 Due to pressure from Knesset Member Betzalel Smotrich and Natan Engelsman, Chairman of the Likud party’s national administration, in cooperation with Honenu’s staff, at the last moment the Prison Service lifted its restriction on the number of participants permitted to attend the brit milah ceremony of Bat Ayin resident David Or-Shahar’s first-born son. Late in the morning on Tuesday, January 17, after the time stipulated by the Lod Central District Court, Or-Shahar was released to attend the ceremony, which will be held according to the family’s original plan.
Initially the Prison Service refused to allow Or-Shahar, who will complete his term in several weeks, furlough in order to attend his son’s brit milah ceremony. He then filed an urgent petition with the Lod Central District Court. On Sunday, January 15, the court ordered the Prison Service to grant the prisoner an eight-hour furlough for the purpose of attending the ceremony. Or-Shahar and his family rented a hall, invited guests, and planned the ceremony.
On the evening of Monday, January 16, a matter of hours before the scheduled furlough, to the shock of the prisoner and his family, the Prison Service suddenly informed him that only 10 family members would be permitted to attend the ceremony.
Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who is representing the prisoner, sent an urgent letter to
the Ma’asiyahu Prison Commander in which he demanded that at least all of the prisoner’s close relatives be allowed to attend the brit milah ceremony.
“To our shock, at approximately 19:00, on the eve of the brit milah, the registration officer informed the prisoner that he must submit the names of only 10 participants who will be permitted to attend the ceremony. The ramifications of this demand are that close family members of the prisoner will not be able to attend the brit milah. This is a heavy-handed demand which greatly hurts the prisoner and from which emanates the scent of vindictiveness following the court’s decision,” wrote Keidar.