Police close off Yoshvaev family home to visitors

Monday, February 28, 2022, 14:57 Since Operation Guardian of the Walls, the Yoshvaev family in the Shimon HaTzadik neighborhood of Jerusalem has suffered 17 acts of terror including nine vehicular arson attacks, two Molotov-cocktail attacks on their house, an array of fireworks launched at their yard, and many bottles of paint thrown at their car. The family miraculously escaped injury from a February 11 Molotov-cocktail attack because they were away for Shabbat. However, their property was damaged. The family requested that two policemen be posted to guard their home during the coming months, until quiet is returned to the neighborhood. The request was denied, despite continuing attempts by Arabs to attack Tal Yoshvaev.

Recently, the Israel Police closed off the home of the Yoshvaev family to guests and visitors, including workers who are needed to repair arson damage. Anyone trying to reach the family’s home is blocked by policemen. In response, Honenu Attorney Chayim Bleicher sent a letter (summarized below) on behalf of the family to the Jerusalem District Commander, Major-General Doron Turgeman, demanding that the police lift the siege. The letter includes descriptions of the repeated attacks by Arab residents on the Yoshvaev family since they moved to the neighborhood approximately two years ago. Bleicher emphasizes that he has been representing clients on behalf of Honenu for several years and that this is one of the most serious cases of repeated attacks on one victim he has seen. For more details, click here and also here.

Summary of the letter to the Jerusalem District Commander:

Despite many warnings by the Yoshvaev family that their house was in danger of attack and in need of protection, the police have not provided any. As a result, their house was torched recently and part of it went up in flames. Consequently, the family lacks suitable living conditions, and urgent renovations must be done to repair the damage. The family was shocked to discover that the police had set up barriers at the entrance to the street to prevent their friends and visitors from accessing their home. Although they did not present a legal document to support their actions, the Israel Police, in a harmful and discriminatory manner, are preventing all Jewish citizens from entering the site, which is in the heart of Jerusalem. Guests of neighboring non-Jewish residents are able to enter their homes through back entrances, whereas that option is denied to the Jewish Yoshvaev family.‏ Moreover, the Israel Police are preventing the owner of Yoshvei HaHar, the company in charge of the house, and his workers from accessing the site and realizing their rights to the property. The police are not allowing the workers to repair the damage.

My client [Tal Yoshvaev], who has endured frequent attacks, is currently isolated from friends and acquaintances who would like to come and offer him support. Also, the door to the house was broken in by firefighters and cannot be locked. The inability to bring acquaintances to the house to help with renovating and guarding effectively traps my client in his house, which is sooty and partially destroyed.

Fundamental rights, freedom of movement and property rights, have been severely violated. The Yoshvaev family‏ would like to live in their home and realize their rights, like all Israeli citizens, and they expect the Israel Police to ensure their safety while preserving the entirety of their rights. However, the police placed special surveillance at the back entrance to their house, unlike at the houses of the neighboring Muslim residents, even though it is obvious that the initiators of the violence were not Jewish citizens, but rather local Muslim residents.

I ask of you, Major-General Turgeman, to handle the matter and end the siege on the home of the Yoshvaev family. If the siege is not lifted, the family will start legal proceedings, and will take the matter to court if necessary.

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