Neriya Ben Pazi appeals administrative order

Honenu Attorney Nati Rom; Photo credit: Honenu

Wednesday, January 3, 2024, 11:53 Neriya Ben Pazi, the owner of the Makuch Farm in the Binyamin region, was served with an administrative restraining order banning him from entering Yehuda and Shomron. The GOC of the Central Command, Major-General Fuchs signed the order. On behalf of Ben Pazi, Honenu Attorney Nati Rom appealed to the Ofer Military Court against the order. Ben Pazi, a father of five, is known as a central and moderate figure who maintains close ties with many senior IDF officers and political figures who regularly visit him at his farm. Ben Pazi cultivates large tracts of agricultural land and manages many flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. The administrative order separates Ben Pazi from his family and his farm and greatly damages Jewish communities in the area of Kochav HaShahar.

In the appeal, Attorney Rom underscored that order was given to Ben Pazi at the end of his police interrogation, which indicates that it was prepared ahead of time: “As the interrogation ended, the appellee was informed of the respondent’s intent to issue an administrative restraining order against him banning him from entering all of Yehuda and Shomron. Needless to say, the announcement was prepared well ahead of time, as if the appellee’s testimony was not relevant to the investigation of the incident at all.”

Attorney Rom cited in the appeal the contribution of Ben Pazi to the security of the area and asked the court to order the cancelation of the order: “The appellee reasons that the restraining order issued against him is fundamentally erroneous, based on shaky foundations and incorrect information. His extensive connections with security authorities are the best evidence that there were no grounds to issue the order. One would expect that before such draconian and invasive means were applied, the security authorities who customarily speak with the appellee would have come [to his defense], which regretfully was not done. In light of the above, the honorable committee is requested to cancel the order.”

Other farm owners and workers in Yehuda and Shomron regard the order against Ben Pazi to be a change in the policy that the GOC has been promoting recently as part of a wide-scale policy targeting farms in the regions. This is contrary to previous GOCs and other senior officers. The farmers claim that in the past, GOCs supported the work of the Makuch Farm because youths were guided to work in agriculture and shepherding and later to enlist in the army. Currently, those on the farm say that Major-General Fuchs is changing the equation and acting to damage the work of the farms and destroy the fragile trust that has been built with young adults and youths over the years.

Honenu Attorney Nati Rom commented on the situation: “It is sad to see that under pressure from America, there are those who find it correct to violate the most fundamental human rights and harm Yehuda and Shomron residents at a time of war. In effect, they are participating in the demonization campaign against them. The use of draconian administrative methods on Yehuda and Shomron residents must stop. The Jewish Department of the GSS with the Central Command continue to cling to a false conception and refuse to distinguish between friend and foe.”

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