Elisha Yered released to house arrest

Elisha Yered; Photo credit: Itamar Carmon

Tuesday, August 8, 2023, 16:13 The Jerusalem District Court partially accepted an appeal filed by Honenu Attorneys Avichai Hajbi and Nati Rom to release Elisha Yered and Yehiel Indor, two Jews who were detained after the incident Friday night when an Arab rioter was killed during an attack by Arabs on a Jewish shepherd and his friends. Yered was released from remand under restrictive conditions including house arrest and bail. At the request of the police, the court delayed carrying out the decision until this evening to allow them time to appeal to the Supreme Court. Indor, who was seriously injured and is still recovering in Sha’arei Tzedek Hospital, remains in remand. He will be brought to the Jerusalem Magistrates Court for a hearing in his case tomorrow.

Yehiel Indor’s serious head injury; Photo credit: Free use

Attorneys Hajbi and Rom asked the court to reduce the remand extension for both detainees on the grounds that Yered was not suspected in the shooting and Indor stressed in his interrogation the need to open fire because his life was threatened. Before the hearing, Attorney Hajbi stated with regard to the claim of increased suspicion, “I believe that if the reasonable suspicion had actually significantly increased, then the representative of the investigating unit would have provided the judge with one or two supporting documents. The fact that the entire case file had to be read to determine if the reasonable suspicion had increased indicates how weak the case is.”

He added, “We are of the opinion that the Jerusalem Magistrates Court’s decision to extend the remand of Elisha and Yehiel is erroneous. Today, we understand that at the beginning of the hearing, the representative of the investigation unit failed to show the court the evidentiary development in the case. From the start, we believed that the investigating unit’s faulty line of reasoning permeated this case. The law was enforced selectively, with extreme severity with regard to Elisha and Yehiel who were the victims of the attack, while the Arabs who brutally attacked the Jews were treated leniently. We are of the opinion that during the coming days both detainees will be released and the case will be closed.”

Attorney Rom leveled sharp criticism at the police: “The Israel Police arrived unprepared. The judge did not understand why they had come: ‘What is this? There is nothing to this case.’ We hope very much that our clients will be released, even if they may not be released now at the appeal. There are many challenges to their release, although in our opinion there are no grounds to the case. We see that a man who acted to save his life and that of others is unfortunately detained in the hospital, in intensive care, even before his operation. Such an act should not be permitted.”

Attorney Rom addressed the matter of the Arab attackers: “There were 300 rioters, as agreed by the police and there was no doubt that there was significant violence against the Jews. Unfortunately, not all of the 300 rioters were detained. Even those who were detained are not suspected of attempted murder as is my client, although he only defended his life and that of others.”

He also addressed the repeated leaks to the media, in particular, the one concerning administrative detention orders served to Yehuda and Shomron residents: “Regrettably, there were leaks, and regrettably there is an attempt to influence the court. There is no justification to issue administrative orders after such an incident. This only shows the haste with which these draconian orders are issued and the illegal misuse of them. There are those who use the authority granted to them for the security of the state in the case of an emergency as a matter of course against Yehuda and Shomron residents, illegally. This is a severe violation of democracy.”

Regarding the release of the detainees, Attorney Rom stated that few judges will release a suspect of murder during the first days of an investigation: “Unfortunately, there has been selective law enforcement and accusations of crime. Even the police are aware of this. … The police have been leaking to the media. It is very painful to see that both the police and the GSS use leaks to the media when there is no evidence in the case. They continue to accuse the detainees of causing death when they know that that is not a possibility. The accusations are meant only to make it difficult for the judges to release the detainees. This is a violation of democratic rule.”

Outside of the courtroom, Knesset Member Limor Son-Har Melech (Otzma Yehudit) said, “Slowly, very slowly, the truth is being revealed. You have already seen the demonization and the headlines. But today, let’s see who will be brave and say, ‘We erred, we’ve tendentiously wronged you.’ Today, it was revealed here in court that – as we said from the start and over the past few days – that there were no grounds for the case. The police arrived here unprepared. The judge spoke clearly and also after Shabbat [Saturday night], the judge told the same police officers over and over, ‘There is no evidence. This is not organized. You arrived unprepared.’ It happened again this time. There is nothing to this case.

“There are people, such as writers in Haaretz [the newspaper], who are trying to revive the case, but the truth is obvious: This is our country. We will continue to fight for it. Our blood is not cheap and we will not abandon our own lives. I hope that justice will be served today.”

When asked if she supported the detainees, MK Son-Har Melech replied: “I give them my full support. In any sane country they would have received honor and esteem. They prevented a terror attack. They prevented the death of Jews. Where do you live? Where are we? The UN?!”

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