Why were Arab, but not Jewish, detainees released?

Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar; Photo credit: Honenu

Monday, March 4, 2024, 8:14 Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar wrote an urgent letter to the Lod District Court requesting that they order the release of administrative detainees Ariel Danino and Amitzur Ben Yosef following the sudden release the previous week of 40 Arab administrative detainees due to a claim by the Prison Service of prison “overcrowding”. Attorney Keidar stated that it is inconceivable that only Arab detainees would be released because of overcrowding while Jewish detainees remain imprisoned. The court president ordered the GSS to respond to Attorney Keidar’s request.

In his letter, Attorney Keidar wrote that, “Over the past few days, it was publicized that in light of a “supposed” overcrowding crisis in the Prison Service, Arab administrative detainees were released from prison. It is undeniable that a mixture of horror and anger is raised when, at a time that the State of Israel is at war, and on a day that Jews were murdered [in a terrorist attack[ in the Shomron, [Arab] detainees are released, when, like them, the murderer in the most recent incident had previously been released from administrative detention. It is inconceivable that either ‘overcrowding’ or a ‘gesture’ is justified only when Arab detainees are concerned, even though the danger they pose to the public is far greater to that which Jewish detainees, including the petitioners, pose, if they [the Jewish detainees] pose any danger at all.”

Attorney Keidar cited statements by the Shomron Brigade Commander who said in an interview recently publicized that there has been a decrease in violent incidents involving Jews and asked the court to order the release of the Jewish administrative detainees: “I would refer the court to statements by Colonel Shimon Siso, the Shomron Brigade Commander, about the dramatic decrease in violent incidents on the part of Jews, and his statement to Makor Rishon reporter [Amir] Rapaport on March 1, that, ‘It [Jewish violence] almost never occurs.’ Under these circumstances, it appears that there are new and troubling considerations according to which [the Prison Service] chose to empty the prison only of Arab terrorists. This is an unreasonable decision that disregards considerations of danger to the security of the State. The request by the petitioners who pose a lesser (if any) degree of danger to the public must be reexamined, and their release must be ordered,” concluded Attorney Keidar.

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