Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 20:47 On Wednesday, July 22, at 9:30, the Central District Court in Lod, will judge the appeal filed by Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar demanding the immediate release from remand of the agriculturalists who were forced to defend their lives when hundreds of Arabs attacked them on Jewish land near the community of Ma’aleh Shomron. A demonstration in protest of their remand is expected to be held outside of the courthouse.
The attack occurred in early July, when hundreds of Arabs surrounded a group of Jewish agriculturalists on Jewish land near the community of Ma’aleh Shomron. Four of the agriculturalists were injured in the attack, which included rock throwing and beatings. MDA personnel evacuated the injured to the Meir Hospital in K’far Saba.
Several of the agriculturalists, all of whom have completed compulsory army service, some of them in elite commando units, opened fire in self defense and saved the lives of the entire group. After the incident it was reported in the Arab social media that two of the attackers had been injured. The detainees are residents of Nof Ayalon, Telmon and Dolev. One of them is the married father of five children. None of them has a criminal record.
On Monday, July 20, two weeks after the incident, policemen from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police detained the injured agriculturalists who had opened fire in self defense on suspicion of injuring two of the Arab attackers. It should be noted that after the incident all of the Jewish agriculturalists were interrogated at the police station and gave testimony about the incident. They were released after interrogation. The following day, the Petah Tikva Magistrates Court extended the remand of two of the agriculturalists by two days and the remand of an additional agriculturalist by five days.
At the court deliberation, the mother of one of the detainees turned to Judge Ophir Katavii-Rivlin, and said, “I feel fortunate to be here, sitting with Daniel and not being visited by the Israeli Police who came to console me. I would like to thank the family who saved my child and because of whom my child is alive. As a mother all I can do is be thankful that Daniel, together with the other young men who were there, succeeded in escaping. I suddenly received a notice [that my son had been detained] when I was grateful that I wasn’t sitting shiva, that I was sitting next to him, and that my child was alive. Does there have to be another death and should I have been another one on the list [of bereaved parents]?”
Honenu strongly censured the police over the remand: “The Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police is backing Arab terror. Today, we stand mouths agape at the travesty the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police is perpetrating before our eyes. Young Jewish men, who have completed army service, who are protecting land under Jewish ownership, who found themselves in a life-threatening situation surrounded by an inflamed mob, and reacted in the most appropriate manner, have since experienced harassment by the police who are supposed to defend them. Today more than ever we see how the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police backs and encourages Palestinian violence and incitement. This is an embarrassment and a disgrace.”
Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar represented the detainees at the deliberation and filed an appeal with the Central District Court in Lod on their remand extension. In the appeal Keidar detailed the unfolding of the incident: “Immediately after the appellants understood that they were faced with an attack, they decided to retreat from the site and simultaneously informed and summoned security authorities. Unfortunately for the appellants, the Arabs blocked their path of retreat and they found themselves in a situation in which they were fully exposed to a life-threatening situation. The appellants exited their vehicle, and some of them attempted to calm the situation through peaceful means.
“However, dozens, if not more [Arabs], attacked the appellants, physically, by throwing rocks and with cold weapons. Some of the appellants who possess weapons under license were forced to shoot a very small number of bullets into the air, which did not subdue the inflamed mob of attackers. At some point, one of the Arabs approached and took a large pickaxe from the tractor and swung it at one of the appellants who was standing close to him, but did not see what was happening and the impending danger, and then one of the appellants opened fire at the terrorist, which saved the life of his friend who by a miracle did not meet his death in the incident.”
Later in the letter: “Immediately after the shooting, the appellants quickly fled, taking with them the pickaxe, and left the area, injured and bleeding, with head injuries and dog bites from their own dogs who were apparently confused by the rock throwing and the shooting. … This was a serious incident, which ended with a miracle, in which the appellants, young men without criminal records, including minors, experienced an extremely difficult ordeal. The appellants were evacuated to the hospital where they were ordered to rest and some of them required medication.”
After describing the unfolding of the incident, Keidar justified the legal claims, and in conclusion demanded the immediate release of the detainees.
Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar; Video credit: Honenu