Thursday, July 23, 2020, 12:03 The Petah Tikva Magistrates Court ordered the release of the three Jewish agriculturalists who were detained on Monday, July 20, after experiencing a brutal attack near Ma’aleh Shomron two weeks previously. The court rejected the police demand for release on condition of severe restrictions and released two of the agriculturalists on condition of several days distancing from the site of the attack and the other agriculturalist was released to several days of house arrest.
Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who represented the agriculturalists stated, “The police demanded the release of the suspects under extremely restrictive conditions, including house arrest, bail, guarantees, and distancing orders, most of which the court rejected.
“With regard to one of the agriculturalists, the court ruled that for the remainder of the week he will remain at his farm. In a week all of the agriculturalists will be able to return to their routine and cultivate the land [the site of the attack].”
Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar speaking after the deliberation; Video credit: Honenu
Yossi Dagan, the Shomron Regional Council Head, who assisted with the release of the detainees: “I welcome the court’s decision, the correct decision. … It is good that the court ordered the release of the agriculturalists.
“The agriculturalists who were attacked are normative and law-abiding citizens who were the victims of a brutal attack by an inflamed Arab mob. They are the victims, not the attackers, and the State of Israel should commend them. Every civilian, policeman and soldier should know that if he is attacked by terrorists from the Palestinian Authority and uses his weapon in order to defend his life, he will receive full backing and that is the way that is should be.”
Several days previously Dagan sent a letter to Major-General Moshe Bareket, the Yehuda and Shomron Police Commander, explaining that the agriculturalists were working on land purchased and registered according to the law, were faced with an attack by a mob which directly endangered their lives, and if they had not used their weapons in self defense, the incident would have ended differently.
Knesset Member Betzalel Smotrich addressed Amir Ohana, the Minister of Public Security, concerning the police conduct in the case, and stated that this was not the first time that the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police had implemented “an outrageous policy against Jews who were saved by a miracle from lethal injury. The victim turns into the accused, while the Arab rioters are barely interrogated, and certainly not detained.”
Earlier today (Thursday), the mother of one of the detainees called for their release from remand: “I want the public to know about this incident. Of course its in someone’s vested interest for no-one to know about it and no-one to hear about it, but today, in the State of Israel, there are three young men in remand and being investigated instead of being given emotional therapy for the trauma they experienced. They are under interrogation. As a mother I am crying out for my son, and my only thought is that I am fortunate to have a son for whom to cry out.”
To recap, on Monday, July 20, two weeks after the incident, policemen from the Central Unit of the Yehuda and Shomron Police detained the injured agriculturalists, all of whom have completed army service, some of them in elite commando units, 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 agriculturalists were interrogated at the police station and gave testimony about the incident. They were released after interrogation. The following day (Tuesday), 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. Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar filed an appeal with the Central District Court in Lod demanding the immediate release of the detainees, which was partially accepted.
In the attack, which occurred in early July, hundreds of Arabs attacked a group of seven Jewish agriculturalists working on Jewish land near the community of Ma’aleh Shomron. During the attack, which included rock throwing and beatings, four of the agriculturalists were injured. MDA personnel evacuated them to the Meir Hospital in K’far Saba.