Brutal detention at Jerusalem Flag Dance

The injured youth; Photo credit: Courtesy of the photographer

Wednesday, June 16, 2021, 16:38 At the Flag Dance in Jerusalem yesterday (Tuesday), a hareidi youth was injured during a brutal detention and required medical treatment. He was held in remand and although he does not have a criminal record, has no prior detentions and the police did not watch a video clip documenting the detention, today (Wednesday), Jerusalem Magistrates Court Judge Elad Lang decided to extend the remand until Thursday afternoon.
According to the court minutes, the youth was detained after policemen asked him to leave the area of the Flag Dance, and he refused. The youth had his back to a fence and when he was brutally detained, his eye was injured and he required stitches and a topical skin adhesive.
Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who is assisting the youth, reported that eyewitnesses to the detention who also recorded it, asked to testify at the police station to which the detainee had been taken, but were directed to a different station. At the second police station they were told that there was a work overload and they could not be received.
Rom described the detention: “This was a humiliating incident in which the Israeli Police unlawfully instructed a citizen to leave a place. The policemen who brutally detained him shouted at him to leave and then immediately and unjustifiably assaulted him. I hope that this incident will be transferred to the Police Investigation Unit. The detainee required medical treatment. His only ‘misdemeanor’ was remaining up against the fence.
“The police added insult to injury. An eyewitness asked to give testimony, he arrived at the police station, and they wouldn’t receive him. He phoned the Ohz Police Station, and they told him that they had 40 detainees and they couldn’t take his testimony.”
Rom stated that the youth was assaulted and distanced from a place in which he was permitted to be, in the framework of the Flag Dance. “[The youth] has an emotional and physical scar from this incident, prior to which he had never been detained. The detention was an attempt to penalize him. The policemen who assaulted him should be the ones to give an account of events.”
Meir Indore, one of the founders of the original Flag Parade, a member of the Am KaLevia organization, and the chairman of Almagor, witnessed the incident: “I saw that there was a group waiting for Sha’ar Shechem [Damascus Gate] to open, but the policemen asked them to continue on to Sha’ar Yaffo [Jaffa Gate]. I tried to mediate between them and the policemen, and most of the group did continue to Sha’ar Yaffo.
“A few [participants] remained and started to argue with the policemen. The Yassam [special forces] policemen started to hurry the group by pushing and applying force. I asked an officer on the scene to treat the guys, some of them youths, gently, so that the police wouldn’t have a bad image, but it was like talking to a wall. The Yassam pushed more, and at the edge of the group one of the youths was injured. The policeman grabbed him from behind and lifted his arms backwards, so that he would have to bend over to prevent his arms from breaking. And then his head hit the policeman’s helmet.”
Indore said that the youth did not look like part of the group at all and asked Brigadier-General Shmuel Marchiano, the Deputy Commander of Merchav [Kedem,Jerusalem], for assistance. “I am very disappointed that Shmuel Marchiano did not honor his promise to release the detainees, as he had said, ‘We’ll release them right away’. That was in order to get rid of me. In my opinion, they are insisting on his detention because he was injured, or in order to show the media that there were detentions on both sides. The policeman who accompanied him [to the police station] tried to alter his testimony about injury: ‘You mean that you bent over’. It was important to the policeman to shift the blame to him. We have seen in the past that the police have concerns about their image, not only concerns about criminal matters. I call on the police to fulfill the commander’s promise and to release him immediately.”

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