Youth sues over police brutality at Yahish Tzion

Monday, October 3, 2022, 9:01 Honenu Attorney Eladi Weisel filed a suit against the Israel Police on behalf of an approximately 15-year-old youth who was assaulted by a policeman without cause at Yahish Tzion (near Pisagot) in late July. According to the statement of claim, on July 22, three border policemen came to the newly-founded community of Yahish Tzion and ordered the complainant (the attacked youth) and other youths to leave the site and walk toward the road to Pisagot. They followed orders and went willingly in the direction of the road, singing and dancing. Suddenly, several paces away from the road, without any cause or justification, one of the policemen punched the youth in the face and knocked him to the ground – see video clip below.

The youth was handcuffed for a long time, illegally, detained, and taken to the Sha’ar Binyamin Police Station for interrogation. He was held until 4:30 AM, and the police did not contact his parents. He was not granted his legal right to consult with either his parents or another relative before he was interrogated. Additionally, the police did not allow him to have a family member present during his interrogation. They prevented his uncle, who had come to the station to be with him, from entering the interrogation room.

More from the statement of claim: “There is no justification and certainly not any legal cause for punching the complainant in the face, for choking him, and for aggressively detaining him despite his lack of resistance and the calm manner in which he cooperated, which characterized the incident and the days of activities which preceded it.” Weisel emphasized that “the video clips speak for themselves. They fully and clearly document how the policeman brutally hit the complainant without him having done anything, without cause, without any legal justification. It was an act of serious violence, lacking in all legality and empty of legal justification.”

Yahish Tzion is one of the communities that were founded by the Nahala (Inheritance) Movement in the Yehuda, Shomron, and Binyamin regions by thousands of activists in July.

Honenu Attorney Eladi Weisel: “It is outrageous to see how the police, who recently gave a directive that due to a shortage of human resources they are changing the regulations and will no longer send a police car to an incident of car theft, suddenly found enough resources when the matter at hand was quelling ‘settlement activity.’ Despite the early declaration by the organizers that they would avoid any clash with the security forces and despite the relaxed and obedient conduct of the activists, the police chose to fight them with great and disproportionate force, aggressive and brutal over-policing. The lack of symmetry in how the police enforce the law against Jewish activists and their deafening silence against the raging illegal Arab building in the same area is indicative of the general situation.”

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