Attack victims interrogated as suspects

Damaged car; Photo courtesy of the photographer

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu has represented victims of rock or Molotov cocktail attacks.
Thursday, July 1, 2021, 18:34 Following a serious incident in which four Jews were attacked by Arabs and then accused by the police of violating an IDF order, Honenu is demanding that they be recognized as victims of terror. Honenu turned to the Yehuda and Shomron District Commander and the Ariel Police demanding to file a complaint over abuse by the police.
Last week, four Jews were driving late at night on Route 5 towards Har Bracha and using Waze to navigate. At one of the intersections that they passed, they erred and inadvertently entered an Arab village. Several Arabs standing next to the road who noticed them, threw large rocks and cinder blocks at the car and attempted to open the doors. Three of the car’s windows were shattered. The driver was hit in the shoulder by a cinder block, and his arm was cut up by glass shards. A passenger’s leg was injured.
In the end, the driver managed to make a U-turn and escape. He drove straight from the Arab village to the Ariel Police Station and asked to file a complaint over the attack. After the driver finished describing the incident to the interrogator, a police officer entered the room. When he saw the driver and the three passengers, who all wore big kippot and had long payot, the officer started to treat them with suspicion and stopped the procedure of filing a complaint. Approximately five minutes later, the officer informed them that they were being detained for investigation on suspicion of violating an order from the GOC for entering the Arab village of Kifl Hares. At this stage, the four did not know what village they had entered, and they noted that in their interrogation.
To no avail, the driver tried to explain to the officer that he had made a wrong turn. Also their attempt to file their complaint in order to receive authorization of the attack for the purpose of receiving compensation for damages was met with absolute refusal by the officer. They tried to request a summons to interrogation, but that was also initially unsuccessful. The police held them in the station for hours without interrogating them and released them in the morning to their homes with a summons to interrogation, but without an official form authorizing the damage to the car.
On the date set in the summons, the four reported to the police station for a continuation of the interrogation, and the police continued to accuse them of the same violation. During the entire interrogation the interrogator could not tell them which village they had entered and did not show them the order prohibiting entry to the site. They continued to deny all charges and asserted that it was a matter of a mistake. In the end they were released under restrictive conditions. The police are still refusing to give the driver the authorization he requires for compensation.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher, who is representing the driver, turned to the police to receive an answer about their conduct in this case. “Jews lost their way and experienced a serious incident of a rock attack and attempted murder. Their lives were in definite danger. When they turned to the police, the authority entrusted to their safety and security, for assistance, the police chose to turn the victim into the culprit, and accused them on a baseless pretext. This treatment of terror victims is absurd and lacking in all sensitivity.
“Even the basic right to file a complaint against the terrorists and to receive compensation, as all victims of terror do, was denied to them. I demand that the police change their treatment of this incident, especially now that my clients have been been interrogated and all charges against them have been dropped. I demand that the police devote resources to [apprehending] the terrorists and to carrying out all necessary operations to bring them to trial for attempted murder.”
Bleicher concluded his letter by demanding that the police take the victims’ complaint, open a case, and issue authorization forms for the complaint and for victims of terror to them.
Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher: “In this incident, the police hastily turned the victims into defendants. Travelers experienced an attempted murder. They were injured, their car was badly damaged, and the police cavalierly turned them, the victims, into defendants. This is a failure, and we demand that it be rectified. The police must examine how this happened. We hope that the police will come to their senses and see to it that my clients receive what is due to them, and especially that the terrorists be apprehended.”

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