Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 11:23 – Houses destroyed, resident detained
On the morning of Wednesday, April 22, a large number of police forces destroyed the houses of four families and additional structures in Yitzhar. One resident, whose house was destroyed, was detained.
Brutal detention in Kumi Ori; Video credit: Kumi Ori
At approximately 6 AM policemen detained the resident in his house, as they took his infant daughter and another child out of his arms. Despite the infant’s screams the policemen choked the resident and brutally detained him. They then removed his children and his wife, who is in her ninth month of pregnancy, from the house and destroyed it.
Honenu Attorney Nati Rom went to the police station to assist the detainee: “This morning a force of 500 policemen, most of whom were not protected [with regards to the Coronavirus] and therefore endangered their lives and the lives of the residents, arrived at Yitzhar, destroyed seven buildings, and detained residents without cause. One of the residents, who was holding his children in his house, was brutally detained. This is unacceptable, certainly at a time of emergency such as this, when the destruction of illegal buildings in the Arab sector has almost ceased. This is a ‘price tag’ act on the part of the police, which definitely does not help prevent actions of one type or another.”
The resident is still in remand, and it is not yet known when he will be brought to court.
Honenu Attorney Nati Rom at the police station; Video credit: Free use
Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 14:02 – Zarog refuses to be conditionally released
Neriya Zarog, the Yitzhar resident who was detained this morning by policemen who took his children from his arms, is refusing to be released from the police station on condition of signing on an order distancing him from Yitzhar for 15 days: “I won’t sign on a distancing order from my home.”
In light of his refusal, Zarog will be brought to the Petah Tikva Magistrates Court for a deliberation. Honenu Attorney Nati Rom is representing Zarog.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 16:45 – Court unconditionally releases Zarog
Petah Tikva Magistrates Court Judge Merav Kafir rejected the police request for a distancing order and ordered the unconditional release of Zarog.
Honenu Attorney Nati Rom stated after the deliberation, “This morning the Israeli Police went too far when they destroyed buildings, including the Zarog family’s house. Not only that, they wanted to detain him and distance him from his home for 15 days. We are pleased that the court did not agree to that, and ordered his release, without a distancing order. We hope that these scenes and occurrences of false accusations of assault, that the police use in order to create a cause for detention, will cease.
“This method of destroying houses and then detaining the residents, claiming that they insulted or assaulted a policeman or violated a legal order is unacceptable. The job of the Israeli Police is to enforce the law, not to penalize offenders. I am pleased that the court accepted our opinion and decided to unconditionally release Neriya Zarog.”
Thursday, April 23, 2020, 18:37 – Police and border police prevent Zarog family from returning home
Police and border police forces are preventing the Zarog family, and other families, from returning to the Kumi Ori neighborhood in Yitzhar in which they reside. The policemen at the scene justify their refusal with the fact that because their houses were destroyed the previous day, they are no longer residents of the neighborhood.
Zarog, his children, his wife, who is in her ninth month of pregnancy, and an additional family are attempting to construct tents at the entrance to the neighborhood. However police and border police forces are preventing them, claiming that there is an order from the Shomron Brigade Commander.
Additional Yitzhar residents have arrived on the scene to protest in support of the families.
Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who is assisting the family with legal counsel: “My client returned to his home. He has been a permanent resident of the site for several years. The law determines that a closed military order is not binding on residents of the site. In conscious violation of the law, the police and the border police are refusing to allow my client to enter the neighborhood in which he resides, claiming that because his house was destroyed he is no longer a resident.
“The selective enforcement of the law and the violation of my client’s freedom and that of his family – other families are residing at the site and permitted entry to the neighborhood – is a continuation of the police ‘price tag’. It should not be that the Israeli Police, who are supposed to set an example, violate the law time after time.”
See here for previous posts about Neriya Zarog and house destruction in Kumi Ori.