Houses destroyed near Kochav HaShahar

Security forces entering Kochav HaShahar; Photo credit: Ma'oz Esther

Security forces entering Kochav HaShahar; Photo credit: Ma’oz Esther

Monday, June 15, 2020 6:42 Large numbers of border police, police and Civil Administration forces are destroying houses in neighborhoods surrounding the community of Kochav HaShahar in the Binyamin region. Residents at the site are reporting severe police brutality.
As of this time the forces have destroyed the houses of five families, two synagogues and eight other structures. One of the residents has chained himself to a large, bulky device and barricaded himself in his house for over an hour and a half. The forces have not been able to remove him.
A young couple who got married less than two weeks ago was brutally removed from their home, laid down on the ground and policemen choked the wife. Another couple was removed from their home with a infant approximately two weeks old. Honenu’s legal headquarters reports approximately 13 detainees. Honenu Attorneys are assisting the detainees.
One of the residents: “The State [of Israel] continues to harass the Jewish presence in Yehuda and Shomron, which de facto widens and determines borders, as we have seen in the Trump Plan, and allows the rampant [illegal] Arab construction surrounding us, to go unchecked. We will continue to hold on to every tract of the Land of Israel.”

Destruction of one of the houses; Video credit: Geulat Tzion

Detainees in full sun; Photo credit: Atty. Rom

Detainees in full sun; Photo credit: Atty. Rom

Monday, June 15, 2020 9:31 Honenu Attorney Nati Rom arrived to assist the detainees whose houses were destroyed and found that they had been handcuffed and left in the sun for a long time.
Rom: “In the course of destroying houses in the area of Kochav HaShahar, there have been more than 15 detentions. Unfortunately when I arrived at the site I saw youths, with their arms handcuffed behind their backs, in the open, under the blazing sun. We hope that they will be allowed to meet with an attorney soon.”
Monday, June 15, 2020 20:09 All of the detainees who were detained this morning (Monday) during the destruction carried out by the security forces near the community of Kochav HaShahar in the Binyamin region have been released. The final count was 13 detainees, not as reported earlier. Most of them were released after several hours. However two of the detainees were brought before a judge at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court. The police requested that they be distanced from the area of Kochav HaShahar for 30 days. The court released them without any distancing order.
In court, the representative of the Attorney General’s office claimed that the detainee, who is a minor, barricaded himself in one of the structures that were scheduled for destruction. During the deliberation an exchange of words developed between the representative and Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who is representing the minor. Rom stated that the 30-day distancing order from the area which the police requested is intended as a form of penalization for the detainee.
Rom asserted in court that “The attempts by my colleague (the representative of the Attorney General’s office) are ethical violations and unfortunately indicate that his considerations for detaining and violating the rights of minors, limiting their freedom and maligning them are not topical.”
At the end of the deliberation Judge Daniel Mordechai Dembitz decided to release the detainees on bail, without a distancing order.
Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who represented the detainees: “While dozens of Bedouin structures in the area are still standing, a large number of Israeli Police forces arrived inflicted severe brutality and destroyed more than eight structures, including a synagogue. There was very severe violence.
“The Israeli Police arrived at court with two detainees and requested that they be distanced from the area for 30 days. We are pleased that the court decided to release them without a distancing order, and we hope that the selective law enforcement will cease immediately.”

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