Monday, August 1, 2022, 17:51 Moshe Sa’ada, former Deputy Head of the PIU (Police Investigation Unit), recently testified with regard to the office of the Attorney General and the Israel Police in general and the cover-up of the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l, in particular. In a related event, another episode of the Testimonies from the Yehuda and Shomron Police project has been publicized today. This time, the story is from Yitzhar residents No’a, z”l, and her husband, Yisrael Ariel. For the video interview, in Hebrew with Hebrew subtitles, please click here.
The Ariels’ testimony is from an incident that occurred in their home late at night. It was taken shortly before No’a, who passed away approximately three months ago, was diagnosed with an illness. Police detectives and Yasam (Special Forces) raided the family’s home at two in the morning in search of their son who was suspected of insulting a policeman on Facebook after the policeman took part in the false detention of a kindergarten teacher in Yitzhar. The teacher was detained in the middle of the night on suspicion that she had written something on Facebook opposing a pride march. It turned out that the detention was based on an error.
In any event, at two in the morning, Yisrael and No’a Ariel heard loud knocking at the back door of their home, which was always blocked by a sort of pantry. When Yisrael asked to see an order authorizing the policemen to enter his home, police brutality ensued.
The couple described how the policemen waved the order in the air from a distance, without letting them read it. Yisrael refused to open the door to the house, and then approximately 15 policemen burst inside. He recounted what happened when he tried to take the order from one of the policemen:
“They jumped on me. They knocked me to the ground. A 60-year-old diabetic, wearing only boxers and a tricot shirt, on the floor, with five Yasamnikim on top of him. They dragged me to the living room and decided that they were going to detain me. With the way I looked, it was humiliating. At first, they ignored all of my requests to let me get dressed. None of them would listen. When I understood that they were going to detain me, I explained that I was a diabetic and that I needed my medicine.”
No’a, z”l, described the scene from her point of view: “They weren’t willing to give him (the medicine that he requested). I opened my mouth and I told them a small part of what I thought of them. Then they decided to accuse me of insulting a policeman.”
The couple spent the night in remand, and in the morning, they were brought before a policeman. Yisrael described the experience: “It dragged on for hours. They said, ‘No,’ to everything. And it was all because of what? Because I asked them to show me the order that authorized them to burst into my home? They entered my house in a mob. For whom? To detain someone who was long past being a kid? They detained us. We were there all night. Toward the end of the day we went to court, and they immediately released us. They found absolutely nothing in the whole entire exhausting story.”
The testimony was taken in the framework of the Testimonies from the Yehuda and Shomron Police project by Honenu and Mateh “Yehudi lo horeg Yehudi,” videography and direction by Avraham Shapira and Chen Klein, investigative reporting by Elhanan Gruner. Over the next few weeks, more testimonies about the treatment of Yehuda and Shomron residents by the police and the GSS are expected to be publicized.