A Yerushalayim judge has ruled that Friday’s arrest of a boy on suspicion of organizing a group entry into the city of Yericho was illegal. The boy, who spent the Shabbos in a police station and was ordered released unconditionally by Judge Feinberg tonight, says he will sue the police.
The bottom line is that the Binyamin District police crusade against Jewish entry into the city of Yericho is being waged at the expense of desecrating the Shabbos and violating the law. They arrested five boys on Friday and released them before the onset of the Shabbos; two more just before the Shabbos, one of whom was quickly released; and another eight around the same time. The last group was driven on the Shabbos- in violation of Jewish Law and over their protests – to the police station in Ariel, from where most of them were released.
Tonight, a group of youngsters did manage to make their way to two ancient Jewish synagogues in the area – one in Naaran and one in Yericho. Seven of them were arrested, and the police are pursuing others. One of the organizers announced afterwards, “We want to emphasize the importance of these synagogues, and we insist on Jewish presence there.”
The story began on Friday, when five boys carrying literature emphasizing the importance of Yericho to the Jewish People were arrested on suspicion of attempting to enter the city, in Palestinian Authority-controlled area. Attorney Adi Keidar of the Honenu civil rights organization immediately became involved, contacting the police to ascertain the reason for the arrest and whether there was any proof of their alleged intentions. The police said that one of the boys was bearing “inciteful literature” regarding the Biblical city of Yericho and why it should be returned to Israeli sovereignty.
The five were released shortly before the Shabbos.
Around the same time, two other boys standing at the junction leading to the Jewish community of Yeitav, near Yericho, were arrested under similar circumstances. The boys, also bearing literature explaining Yericho’s significance, said they were on their way to Yeitav – but the police did not believe them, and took them to the station in Ariel. One of the boys was released just minutes before the onset of the Shabbos, while the other – accused of being the ringleader – was kept in the police station.
Finally, another eight boys were arrested near Yeitav for similar reasons, even though they denied that they were headed to Yericho. The eight were driven, on the Shabbos, to Ariel, where they were released unconditionally a few hours later.
Nine of the boys spent the Shabbos, or what was left of it, amidst the former Gush Katif residents of Netzarim currently building their new community in a section of Ariel.
The boy who was detained in the police station throughout the Shabbos was brought on Saturday night to the Yerushalayim Magistrates Court. The police requested that he be released on condition that he not return to the area of the alleged crime for a number of weeks. The judge turned them flat down, ordering the boy freed immediately and saying that the arrest and detention had been illegal.
Read more at Arutz Shevah.