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Yitzhar Couple and Six Children Under House Arrest

Akiva Hacohen from Yitzhar has been under house arrest for two months. His wife describes the conditions.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/16/2012, 1:13 AM

Akiva Hacohen
Akiva Hacohen
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Ayelet Hashachar Hacohen, wife of Akiva Hacohen from the community of Yitzhar who was arrested and charged with espionage, told Arutz Sheva on Thursday about the nightmare her family has been going through for the last two months.

Akiva Hacohen is one of several men from Yitzhar who were given restraining orders by police last August and were forced to leave their homes. Since being deported he, his wife and their six children have been residing in an apartment in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood.

Hacohen was recently accused by police of espionage, because he warned Jews residing in communities in Judea and Samaria of impending demolitions of homes. The government later withdrew charges that Hacohen and four other detainees were spies.

Ayelet Hashachar, who recently gave birth to a baby girl, said that her husband was not even allowed to witness the birth of his daughter.

“My husband was arrested on charges of spying on the forces that were making their way to demolish Ramat Gilad,” she said. “When I had my baby, they did not agree to release him until three days later.”

She added that her husband has been released to house arrest, until the conclusion of the proceedings against him, under cruel terms. “He’s under a monitored full house arrest. That means that someone is closely watching him 24 hours a day. The court decided that the person who monitors him has to be either his father, or my mother, or my grandfather. In the end they also allowed me to be a monitor. They’ve also prohibited him from using any means of communication including a telephone, a cellular phone, the computer and the internet.”

Ayelet Hashachar added that even maintaining the house has become an impossible task. “Think about it, my husband and I are essentially under house arrest along with six children. That’s because I need to monitor my husband who can’t leave the house. Neither of us can go out, be it for shopping, to the bank, to throw out the trash, nothing.”

She said that all their requests to ease the conditions of the arrest were rejected. “Our attorney told us that even a rapist or a murderer under house arrest does not get such conditions. We have a flour business, Yitzhar Flour, and my husband isn’t even allowed to make phone calls to run the business.”

She added, “All we wanted to do was to guard the Land of Israel. Unfortunately, this is an anti-Zionist state which abuses Jews who love the Land of Israel. It's just a crazy situation. They’re trying to forcefully hit the people of the settlement enterprise. It hurts, it's sad, but we're on a mission. We hope that we can be ‘free’ in time for the Passover holiday.”

Arutz Sheva contacted the Ministry of Justice for a comment, but no response has yet been received.