Three detained over “Circling the Gates”

Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski; Photo credit: Honenu

Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski; Photo credit: Honenu

Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 14:30 On Thursday, August 27, Jewish youths participating in the Circling of the Gates of the Old City of Jerusalem were attacked by Arab residents of the area. Later a clash broke out between the assailants and the participants, and in the end, the police distanced the youths from the Old City. Three Jews were detained.
During the incident, an adult resident of the Old City who lives near the Lions’ Gate came out and offered the participants food and drink. When he saw the police brutally distancing them from the area, he recorded the incident on his cell phone. He was subsequently detained and his phone was taken from him. The second detainee is a 16-year-old minor who unintentionally entered the site. He attempted to stop the police brutality he saw, which included wildly kicking Jewish youths. He was detained on suspicion of assaulting policemen. The following day, when one of the attacked youths went to the police station to file a complaint for assault, he was detained.
During the first deliberation, at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, the police denied that local Arab residents had been involved with an attack on Jews. However, at a Jerusalem District Court deliberation on the following Sunday (August 30), the police admitted that Arabs had been involved and that they had “been assisted by some locals” in preventing the Circling of the Gates participants from entering the Temple Mount.
Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski, who is representing the detainees, stated that “it is completely obvious that the description of the incident [by the police] is incorrect, since it occurred late at night, when the gates to the Temple Mount are locked. Additionally, due to concerns of prohibitions of Jewish law, the hareidi youths had not wanted to enter the Temple Mount.” Poleski is of the opinion – although this opinion is not used in defense of the detainees it is still worthy of note – that the police are simply attempting to conceal the fact that the genuine reason for distancing the youths from the site was the inability of the police to cope with the attack by the local Arabs.
At the first deliberation, the police representative was completely unable to answer why the youth who wanted to file a complaint was detained. The Jerusalem Magistrates Court unconditionally released the youth and ruled that there was not a reasonable suspicion to the charge attributed to him. The court also ruled that the detainees did not pose a danger, and released them without any restrictions, including distancing. At the Jerusalem District Court deliberation, the father of the minor agreed to an order distancing the minor from the site of the incident for 30 days, so that he would not encounter the dangerous incidents occurring at the site.
Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski, who is representing the detainees, leveled criticism at the police: “The scandalous conduct of the police does not stop on red. Not only did the police, as is their way, not cope with the rioting locals as they should have, including by detaining the attackers, but rather chose the easy way, the convenient way familiar to us, and they brutally drove away the Jews who had been attacked. What is more serious, in this incident the police teamed up with violent Arabs in order to drive Jews away from the site. Needless to say, none of the attackers have been detained.”

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