Youths falsely detained in Ramle sue police

Arab rioting in Ramle; Photo credit: Yossi Aloni/Flash90

Please click here for a list of posts relating to the mid-May Arab rioting throughout Israel.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 9:47 With the assistance of Attorney Menashe Yado and Eladi Weisel of Honenu, three youths have sued the police for compensation over false detention, which they state was completely baseless and included an illegal strip search. During Operation Guardian of the Walls, the youths, residents of the central region of Israel, came to Ramle, one of the mixed cities in Israel that was suffering from Arab attacks and rioting in the streets, to strengthen the residents. The youths went from house to house, boosting the residents’ morale. As they were returning to their car before leaving the city, they passed near a group of policemen who asked them to stop.

The statement of claim describes the incident: “Without any explanation and without a preliminary conversation, the policemen shouted at the plaintiffs to go to a place nearby where a large number of Jewish detainees had been grouped. The shocked plaintiffs attempted to explain to the policemen that they had not done anything and there was no cause to take them in, but instead of listening to them, the policemen continued to shout and brutally shoved and pulled them to where the detainees were grouped.”

The youths attempted to explain to the policemen that there was no reason to detain them and that they were on their way out of the city. But instead of listening to their claims, one of the policemen said, “You look like trouble-makers to me,” and instructed to other policemen to take the plaintiffs to the police car.

Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who is representing the youths, leveled criticism at the police: “The policemen did not take the trouble to inform the plaintiffs of the grounds for the detention, but simply took them to the site where detainees were being grouped, and from there to the police car, without exchanging a word with them. The policemen rejected a request by the plaintiffs to be informed for what and why they were being detained and taken in to the police station. Several hours later, the interrogator also did not know what the plaintiffs had been detained for and initially was unable to interrogate them.”

They were detained for many hours at the station, more than is permitted by law. “In the incident over which the suit was filed, the plaintiffs were detained for ten hours at the police station, which is a serious violation of the provisions of law regarding the length of a detention and a serious violation of the plaintiffs’ freedom,” added Yado.

The suit describes the illegal strip search: “The policemen were not satisfied with an unauthorized search and added insult to injury. While searching one of the plaintiffs, the policemen forced him to strip down to his underwear. When the plaintiff tried to ask the policemen if the strip search was legal, they answered that ‘Stripping to boxer shorts is always allowed’. There is no authorization for searching a detainee at the time he is brought into the police station and all the more so there is no authorization or justification for an illegal strip search.”

Eladi Weisel of Honenu also leveled criticism at the police: “Instead of focusing their resources on dealing with the rioting Arabs, who were creating chaos, the Israeli Police chose to take the easy way and to ‘clean’ the streets of Ramle of Jews with wholesale detentions, without individual examination of whether or not there were grounds for detention.

“The conduct of the police led to a situation in which many people were taken into the police station, illegally held for longer than the time allowed by law for a detention, and the entire time the policemen at the station did not know over what or why they were being held,” concluded Weisel.

The plaintiffs filed a suit against the police for tens of thousands of shekels at the Ramle Magistrates Court in a fast-track hearing.

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