Geulat Tzion filed complaint over police brutality

Tuesday, September 6, 2022, 8:51 Residents of Geulat Tzion filed a complaint with the Police Investigation Unit (PIU) against policemen from the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police following a brutal detention at the outpost several weeks ago. Video clips documenting the detention (see below) show policemen brutally refusing to allow a resident to put on a shirt before he was detained. One of the policemen roughly grabbed a cell phone from the detainee’s wife, who was holding a baby, as she documented the incident. The detainee’s children are heard screaming in the background.

Outside of the house, on the way to the police car, one of the policemen assaulted another resident who was accompanying his friend. The video clip shows the policeman slapping the resident in the face with enough force that his glasses were broken. There was no visible reason for the assault.

The policemen documented in the video clips are from the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police, which in recent years has become associated with brutal treatment and harassment of “hilltop youth”. The most glaring example is the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l. Ahuvia was killed in a car chase when policemen in an unmarked car collided with the car Ahuvia was riding in.

Honenu Attorney Eladi Weisel, who is representing the Geulat Tzion residents, wrote a letter to the PIU demanding that they examine the details of the incident and the general treatment of “hilltop youth”. Excerpt from the letter: “A woman trying to document the brutal detention of her husband should not find herself assaulted by a policeman. … A policeman in the Israel Police should not be allowed to slap a youth without legal justification. … The general picture here is one of brutal uncontrolled policing of hilltop residents. The brutal, reckless assaults indicate ‘like a thousand witnesses’ that the atmosphere of the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police is that one may belittle the rights of those called ‘hilltop youth’.”

Honenu Attorney Eladi Weisel: “The video clips reveal a small portion of the atrocious conduct of the Central Unit of Yehuda and Shomron Police. The unit allows itself brutal and illegal conduct when hilltop youth are involved. The policemen must not relate to the youths as if they were fourth-class citizens whose rights may be trampled, whose dignity may be insulted, and who may be injured, all with indifference. Unfortunately, one youth has already been killed as a result of this contempt. The police must not wait for another ‘Sandak case’ to completely rid themselves of this degrading thuggery.”

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