Akiva HaCohen returns home with family after year under restraining order

Tuesday, August 7, 12:37 After a fulfilling a one year administrative order, out of which almost ten months were under house arrest (in a temporary apartment) with restricting conditions, Akiva HaCohen is returning home to Yitzhar with his family. Akiva will remain under house arrest in his home.
After residing for one year in the Jerusalem French Hill neighborhood, during which time a daughter was born, the HaCohen family has returned with their five children to their home in the Shalhevet-ya neighborhood of Yitzhar. The head of the family, Akiva, who is a longtime activist in the struggle for the Land of Israel, last year received an administrative order banning him from entering Yehuda and Shomron for the period of one year. This is the fourth such order that Akiva has received due to his work protesting the destruction of Jewish communities and expelling Jews from their land. Additionally, approximately ten months ago Akiva was detained along with three of his friends on suspicion of monitoring the movements of IDF forces in preparation of the planned destruction of Ramat Gilad and Mitzpe Yizhar in the Shomron. See here for more information. Among other charges they were accused of being responsible for yeshiva students from Jerusalem breaking into the Ephraim Brigade base in order to prevent the aforementioned planned destruction.
An indictment was filed against the four, relying on a clause in a military law dating from the British Mandate period pertaining to collecting information on army movements. Also the court ruled that the four would be under house arrest with particularly harsh conditions, including no access to phone or Internet, until the end of proceedings.
In a deliberation which took place yesterday at the Jerusalem District Court, the court refused the request of Akiva’s representative, Honenu attorney Adi Kedar, to relax the conditions of the house arrest and allow him freedom of movement within Yitzhar. The court conditioned Akiva’s return to Yitzhar on house arrest, other than to go to work in the community, as the Attorney General’s office demanded. The court did agree to allow Akiva access to phone and Internet, despite the objection of the Attorney General’s office.
The HaCohen family has wheat fields in the Shalhevet-ya neighborhood of Yitzhar and also operates a whole-wheat organic flour mill. The wheat fields have been damaged many times in the past by fires set by the Arabs from the nearby Arab village of Asira al Qibliya.
Following a request filed by Honenu, the court also relaxed the house arrest conditions of Jerusalem resident Ephraim Haikin, an additional suspect in the plan to foil the destruction of the outposts. Due to the fact that Haikin has been under house arrest already for a long period of time with particularly harsh conditions and has not violated any of them, the court accepted Honenu’s request despite opposition from the Attorney General’s office. Haikind will be allowed phone and Internet access.
Honenu hopes that the court will also authorize Haikin to go out to work on a daily basis. Currently Haikin is prohibited from going out to work based on the opinion which the GSS gave of his planned place of work. According to the GSS one of the employees is a former administrative detainee and contact between the two should be avoided.

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