Court Awards Damages to Hebron Mother Over False Arrest
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court has awarded thousands of shekels in damages to a Hevron mother after her false arrest by police.
On Thursday, the court ordered Jerusalem police to pay Anat Cohen a total of NIS 9,000 in damages, a sum which included her legal fees.
Cohen was taken into custody by Jerusalem police because she was waving a sign at her son’s IDF military swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The sign read, "Remember, son, you swore to defeat the enemy – not evacuate Jews."
Cohen was eventually released from the precinct, 4.5 hours later, without having been interrogated.
The fine to be paid by police included NIS 4,500 for the 4.5 hours of detention, NIS 2,000 for the false arrest and duress she endured, and NIS 2,500 for her legal fees.
Arrests in the highly sensitive holy area are common. An eyewitness report confirmed earlier this week that Temple Mount police arrested four Jewish minors on the claim they "bowed" on the site.
However, Rabbi Avraham Isaacs, who was present at the time, said he never saw the four Jewish youths bow, even once, and that they had adhered to security regulations requiring Jews to tour the site in groups.
"They stayed together and were ambushed on the Mount by an Arab mob shouting ‘Allahu Akbar,’, whom they attempted to avoid while the escorting police officer rushed them to move on," Isaacs related.
Attorney Aviad Visoly denounced the arrest, arguing that the young men should not have been arrested even if they did bow. Jews are allowed to bow on the Temple Mount, he said, and doing so is "a Torah command and an elementary civil right."
The attorney added that arresting minors for bowing on the Temple Mount is a serious crime called "wrongful arrest."
On Wednesday, a group of Jewish pilgrims visiting the Temple Mount confiscated a soccer ball from a group of youths playing on the site of what was once the Holy Temple and "House of Prayer for All Nations" built by the Biblical King Solomon.
Although the pilgrims handed the ball to a police officer, he promptly handed it back to the youths, telling the Jews there was "no provision" for stopping soccer games or other sports activities on the site – even though Israel’s Supreme Court has banned sports on the holy site.