Weapon confiscated from man who defended group from rock barrage

Please click here for a list of posts relating to cases in which Honenu has represented victims of rock or Molotov cocktail attacks.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 21:11 Yishai Yifati, a married father of six, was interrogated under warning after defending a group of Jews, including women and infants, standing in a protest watch on Friday, January 7. The group was outside of the Arab town of Tuqu’a, protesting the head injury of a Gush Etzion resident at the site.

At the end of the protest watch, a group of Arabs attacked the participants, the policemen and the soldiers who were present with a barrage of rocks. In a video clip of the incident (see below), the rocks are seen being aimed at the protesters and the security forces. One rock passed close to the head of a baby held by his mother, almost hitting him and protesters standing near him. Yifati was the first to regain his composure, and he fired one shot into the air to immediately stop the Arabs from throwing rocks. To his shock, the following week he was summoned to the police station and interrogated under warning. On Tuesday, January 11, a policeman came to his home and confiscated his weapon.

Rock thrown past infant’s head; Video credit: Elisheva Zinger

Yifati, a resident of the Gush Etzion community K’far Eldad who served in an IDF combat unit, stated: “This is an absolute embarrassment. They [the security forces] are abandoning us. The terrorists are celebrating and we are investigating [the victims]. I have no words. I acted as was expected of anyone in Israel who carries a weapon. I saw an immediate danger to life, I saw rocks flying through the air towards infants, I fired one shot into the air according to regulations and the law, and, thank G-d, the attack stopped. Apparently, I prevented injuries. The terrorists are now free and at home laughing, while I find myself under investigation in a criminal case, unable to protect myself and my family.

“The State of Israel prefers to see injured Jews and not escaping terrorists. There is nobody here who will protect us. I call on everyone who values Jewish lives to do everything in their power to end this insane situation in which victims are turned into culprits.”

Honenu Attorney Nati Rom, who is assisting Yifati: “‘I have seen a backwards world.’ The victim is being investigated, whereas nobody is trying to detain the attackers. Nobody is investigating them, and nobody is investing resources in discovering who threw the rocks. In addition to discrimination and selective law enforcement, lives are being abandoned here. My client is an exemplary citizen. He served in the army and he acted in an exemplary manner. If the situation were being handled appropriately, he would be invited to the police station for a ceremony honoring his life-saving quick-wittedness and not for an interrogation and weapon-confiscation. I intend to act at all levels to immediately rectify the injustice caused to my client and to have his weapon returned to him immediately. The case against him should be closed.”

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