Sunday, March 15, 2020, 12:38 Five youths under administrative house arrest reported Saturday night, after Shabbat, to police stations throughout Israel and informed the police that they are no longer able to remain at their parents’ homes at night because of the repeated harassment by policemen verifying compliance with their orders. The five youths have been placed under house arrest at their parents’ homes at night by order of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the relevant Command. The parents were not asked for their consent, even though none of the five youths are living at their parents’ homes.
The order necessitates a visit by policemen every night, and they have been checking the arrestees very early in the morning, knocking loudly on the door and waking up the entire household. During the previous week, the five youths sent letters to the GOC informing him that they could no longer cause their families to suffer and after Shabbat they reported to various police stations.
The policemen did not know how to receive the youths and some of them slept all night at the entrance to the police station. In the morning three of the youths were detained and were scheduled to be brought to the Petah Tikva, Nof HaGalil, and Kiriyat Shemona Magistrates Courts on Sunday. Honenu Attorneys Nati Rom and Moshe Poleski will represent the youths.
One of the youths at the police station; Video credit: Courtesy of the family
Honenu Attorney Nati Rom: “Unfortunately this procedure has lost all proportions. Draconian measures are being used against youths from Yehuda and Shomron, without presenting any evidence against them, and then they are informed that they are under house arrest at night and under additional restrictions. Someone to whom human rights are important, democracy is important, cannot agree to these methods, certainly not when it comes to youths, most of whom are suspected of only property violations.
“An additional problem is that the youths are legally adults and the GOC has ordered them to be under house arrest, but not at their homes, without receiving the consent of their hosts, which is unacceptable. If the army is going to use such a severe measure, they should provide a room at a hotel or alternatively allow them to stay wherever they want.”
Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski added: “There were no grounds to place the youths under house arrest. They are hill-top youth to whom administrative orders have been served without any evidence being presented. Recently the Defense Minister reconsidered and retracted a similar order. Not only has the GOC issued draconian orders, but the police arrive every day, at night, also on Shabbat and holidays, and disrupt the routine of the entire family. The youths, their siblings and the rest of the family are being harassed. They have been traumatized. The parents are incapable of withstanding the hardship and the pressure. The youths updated the police and therefore it is unclear why they were detained: In situations such as this in which someone under house arrest informs the police and reports to the police station, those actions show the police that the law is being honored. I am of the opinion that the court will unconditionally release them.”