MK Arbel demands answers regarding Ariel detainee

Wednesday, June 22, 2022, 19:06 The political system is in an uproar following the detention of an Ariel resident who defended a group of attacked children yesterday (Tuesday). In a speech before the Knesset plenum, Member of Knesset Moshe Arbel (Shas) demanded answers from Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev as to why they are not allowing the detainee to meet with Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar. Additionally, the Knesset Land of Israel Lobby addressed the matter and demanded clarifications from the police.

MK Arbel: “There are times when it is simply impossible to remain silent. At this very moment, as we are discussing people’s security, a Jew is sitting in a GSS detention cell and being prevented from meeting with an attorney, after he was attacked just outside of the back gate to the city of Ariel in the Shomron yesterday. Even the civilian head of security was forced to fire into the air, according to journalist Elisha Ben Kimon.”

At this stage, MK Arbel turned to the plenum and asked, “Does this sound logical to you, my colleagues from the right and also from the left? A Jew was attacked by dozens of rioters with clubs, and he found himself without the most basic democratic right, the right to meet with an attorney. This is not an issue of innocent or guilty. He must meet with an attorney, and they are not allowing him to do so. An ordinary man in his 40s turned into a criminal overnight, as opposed to the dozens of rioters with murder in their eyes who continue to walk freely. Have we become like Sodom and Gomorra? Is there no justice?

“I urgently demand answers from the Defense Minister and the Public Security Minister. What is happening here? Have you lost your senses? Already today I intend to ensure that this citizen receives the most basic right,” concluded MK Arbel.

Likewise, the Knesset Land of Israel Lobby Chairman MK Yoav Kisch and MK Orit Struk addressed the matter and said, “The conduct of the police concerning yesterday’s attack is unacceptable and intolerable. It is inconceivable that not one of the Arabs who participated in the attack has been detained, and the sole detainee is a Jew who apparently was forced to defend attacked children, and now he is even prevented from meeting with an attorney. This is not how justice is achieved. This is not how security is attained.”

Earlier today (Wednesday), the Ariel resident who defended the group of attacked children went to the Ariel Police Station to file a complaint against the assailants and give testimony about the incident. The Ariel resident and a group of youths were examining the area near Ariel for suitable locations for new communities as part of a larger process that is currently ongoing. As the group was walking near the eastern gate of Ariel, dozens of rioting Arabs jumped on them and tried to injure them. As a result, one of the Arab rioters was killed. To the shock of the Ariel resident, instead of taking his testimony, the police detained him and prevented him from meeting with Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar, who is representing him.

Keidar issued a statement after the detention: “To the best of our understanding, the children were saved only by a miracle. Arabs attacked Jews, and this is only the most recent incident of attacks that have been ongoing for several months. I think that the authorities, and at their head, the GSS and the police, have lost their senses. Instead of ensuring the security of Jewish citizens who have been abandoned, they detained a man who, to the best of our understanding, is innocent of all wrongdoing and defended 20 children. We very much hope that the court cancels the order preventing a meeting with an attorney and releases the detainee from remand.”

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