Monday, April 20, 2015, 10:32 The five Kochav HaShahar residents detained on Thursday,
April 16 on suspicion of assaulting Arabs and police detectives disguised as Arabs who approached Kochav HaShahar will remain in remain until Tuesday, April 21, ruled Jerusalem Magistrate Court Judge Miriam Kaslasi in a deliberation on Sunday, April 19. The detainees deny all charges.
During the Sunday, April 19 deliberation it became clear that despite the explicit obligation by the police representative during a deliberation at the Jerusalem District Court on Friday, April 17 to complete the investigation by Sunday, the police had not carried out any investigative procedures and arrived at the courthouse with a remand extension request identical to their request at the previous deliberation.
Honenu attorney David HaLevi, who represented the five detainees, pleaded that they should be released due to the contempt of court by the police. HaLevi also stated that the police investigator confirmed that no new investigative material was presented to the court. Despite the lack of progress Judge Kaslasi ruled to extend the remand.
“The [Jerusalem] District Court was given an assurance that the investigative procedures which could potentially be disrupted would be carried out… These procedures were not carried out and no explanation as to why was given. In fact almost no procedure has been carried out since the last remand extension,” wrote Judge Kaslasi in her decision. “I do not know why the [police] representative agreed to an obligation if he could not fulfill it. Perhaps because of his fear of the [Jerusalem] District Court,” added Judge Kaslasi. However in the end she ruled that nevertheless she would extend the remand on the adult detainees by three days and on the minor by one day.
Honenu attorney David HaLevi quickly filed an appeal on the decision with the Jerusalem District Court. In the deliberation on the appeal which dealt with the minor, whose remand was extended by only one day due to additional circumstances, District Court Judge Oded Shaham ruled that if the police did not carry out a specific investigative procedure by Monday, April 20, the police would find it difficult to request an additional remand extension. On Monday, April 20 a deliberation is expected to take place on the appeal filed on behalf of the adult detainees.
HaLevi stated in response to the remand extension that, “The decision is unreasonable and unacceptable. The [Jerusalem] Magistrate Court has made itself an appellate court above the [Jerusalem] District Court as it empties of all content its decision which ruled that the remand would end and all investigative procedures would be carried out prior to the deliberation. The court even went so far as to make an analysis of the investigator and rule that at the [Jerusalem] District Court he took on the obligation to complete the investigation out of fear of the District Court, a statement which is not grounded in reality and which was meant to justify the problematic ruling given. We filed an appeal which will be judged in the coming hours and estimate that it will bring about the release of our clients, who are innocent of all charges, from remand.”
The five Kochav HaShahar residents were detained on Thursday, April 16 after the Israeli Police led an Arab shepherd accompanied by police detectives disguised as Arabs close to the Givat HaBaladim hilltop community and the Ma’aleh Shlomo neighborhood adjacent to the community of Kochav HaShahar in an attempt to cause a disturbance resulting in the detention of Jewish residents. Simultaneously police and Yassam (Special Forces) police set up an ambush. Out of concern for the security of the area a Kochav HaShahar resident summoned other residents to the site. The detainees were detained on suspicion of assaulting the Arab and the police detectives.
The detainees denied that they had assaulted the police and the Arabs. The detainees stated that first one of them noticed Arabs with a herd very close to Givat HaBaladim, at a site to which Arabs never come. He was concerned that the Arabs posed a security risk and were possibly going to attempt to steal a herd belonging to residents of the hilltop. Therefore he galloped on his horse towards the Arabs. When he noticed that the herd with the Arabs did not belong to residents of the hilltop he left the scene. The other detainees stated that they were summoned to the scene, but when they realized from a distance that the herd and the Arabs had begun to leave, they returned towards their community and it was then that they were detained.
During the deliberation on Friday Kedar presented a document which had been submitted in the trial of a similar incident instigated by the police near Susiya, in which the Minister of Internal Security declared that the police would not carry out operations against Jewish residents of Yehuda and Shomron in which the policemen are disguised as Arabs, particularly because of the danger to security posed by such operations. Kedar also stressed that the police carried out the operation in an area near Kochav HaShahar in which terror attacks had occurred and mentioned that the mother-in-law of one of the detainees was murdered in one of the attacks.