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Police confirm overly severe law enforcement in Hebron

By David Wilder
7/1/2008, 12:00 AM
Police confirm overly severe law enforcement against Jews in Hebron

This afternoon, at a meeting of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, the commander of the Hebron regional police force told the MKs that for years the Hebron police have practiced overly severe law enforcement against the city's Jewish residents.

He informed them that Hebron police formed special 'Israeli disturbance squads' to deal with any and all complaints against Jews, even the most minimal, on the level of 'special investigative squads' (Tzacham in Hebrew).

This is the first time that an official representative of the police has confirmed Hebron community complaints that the police practice 'selective law enforcement' in the city.

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The Supreme Court: Continued tours by "Breaking the Silence" in Hebron will be 'conditional on restrained behavior on their part.'

Supreme Court judge Eliyakim Rubenstein yesterday accepted the Hebron Jewish Community's request to participate as a respondent to the petition filed by the extreme left-wing group "Breaking the Silence."

Following a violent demonstration in Hebron on April 25, the Hebron police forbade further tours by "Breaking the Silence' in the city. The group petitioned the Supreme Court, demanding to be allowed to continue 'educational tours' of Hebron. The state prosecutor's office reached an agreement with the police and the group, allowing limited tours in Hebron. The Hebron Jewish Community petitioned the Supreme Court, demanding to participate as a respondent to the left-wing group's petition, while also requesting that the court issue a temporary injunction disallowing implementation of the agreement until the petition was heard in court.

Judge Rubenstein pointed out in his decision that while the petitioners, "Breaking the Silence" claim to be "discharged soldiers who served in Hebron and are presently 'peace activists,' the Hebron Jewish Community, requesting to participate as a respondent, claims that the petitioners are 'provocateurs, whose goal is to incite the Arab population against the Jews, and not educational, as they claim.'

Judge Rubenstein decided not to issued a temporary injunction preventing an agreement reached between the state prosecutor's office and 'breaking the silence' despite the Hebron Jewish community's claim that 'already on 15.6.08 this agreement was violated by the petitioners when they arrived in Hebron without prior knowledge by the police for a tour in the area.' However, he declared that the actualization of the agreement would be conditional on restrained behaviour by the petitioners.

He also said that the Hebron Jewish community is not immune from displaying restraint.

In conclusion Judge Rubenstein set a hearing of petition for the end of October.