The time of detention earlier reported as “late at night on Monday, July 1” has been corrected to “at dawn on Tuesday, July 2”.
Wednesday, July 3, 12:04 A youth under an administrative restraining order issued by the GOC of the Central Command banning him from entering the regions of Yehuda and Shomron was detained in Beit El at dawn on Tuesday, July 2 on suspicion of violating the order. The Jerusalem Magistrate Court ruled on Wednesday, July 3 in an unusual ruling that an error in phrasing in a restraining order is in favor of the youth against whom the order was issued, rejected the police demand to place him in remand and ruled that he had not violated the order because “Binyamin”, the area in which Beit El is located, was not specified in the order.
At dawn on the morning of Tuesday, July 2 three youths were detained in Beit El at the home of one of them. Each youth was detained for a reason specific to him, not related to the other youths. The Beit El resident was taken to the offices of the National Unit of Serious and International Crime Investigations and the other two youths were taken to the offices of the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police.
One of the youths visiting their friend in Beit El was detained on suspicion of violating an administrative restraining order banning him from entering the area of Yehuda and Shomron issued by the GOC of the Central Command, Nitzan Alon. During the course of the day (July 2) the youth was brought to the Jerusalem Magistrate Court where the police announced that they intended to issue an indictment against him for violating a legal order and therefore demanded that he be placed in remand until the end of proceedings. Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is representing the youth on behalf of Honenu, pleaded to Judge Gad Ehrenberg that the presence of the suspect in Beit El did not constitute a violation of the order because the regions specified are Yehuda and Shomron only and Beit El is located in the Binyamin region. Ben-Gvir supported his claim by stating that not only are they different geographical regions but also legally the regions are separate authorities, each one having its own regional council and Israeli Police district.
Judge Ehrenberg accepted the defense’s plea and ruled that the outstanding order had not been violated by the suspect and therefore there is no cause to demand his remand. However Judge Ehrenberg ruled that from Wednesday, July 3 the suspect will be under a restraining order banning him from entering also the Binaymin region for 180 days. In response to the ruling the Israeli Police announced that they plan to file an appeal with the district court and therefore requested a delay in releasing the suspect, to which the judge acquiesced. At 14:00 on Wednesday, July 3 a deliberation will take place on the appeal at the Jerusalem District Court.
In response to the surprising ruling Ben-Gvir, who is representing the suspect on behalf of Honenu, said that, “Today the court sent an important message to the Yehuda and Shomron Police and to the legal authorities that when a person’s freedom is restricted by an order without proof or evidence at least the order must be clearly understood and accompanied by a map which does not allow for multiple interpretations. In and of themselves these orders are suited to Soviet Russia. If the police have evidence against the defendant whom I represented and against his friends they should issue an indictment and if not they must stop the persecution and the harassment.”