Court Orders Boaz Albert Released
A father-of-six from Yitzhar who was violently arrested on Thursday night for entering his home will be released from prison.
The Petach Tikva Magistrate’s Court ordered Albert released, but with restrictive conditions. Police are expected to contest the order.
Albert had visited his home in Yitzhar, in Samaria (Shomron), despite an administrative order distancing him from the region. Under laws remaining from the time of the British Mandate, security forces can use administrative orders to hold suspects or distance them from certain areas, without explanation and without trial.
Police burst into the home and dragged Albert out by force, shocking him several times with a taser as they did so.
In a video of the incident Albert can be heard pleading with police to stop shocking him, saying, “I’m not resisting,” while one of his children screams in the background.
Boaz's wife, Irit Albert described her shock at the violent conduct of the arresting officers.
"We knew that Boaz would be arrested eventually and were prepared for this, but I have no words to describe the brutality of the police during the arrest," she said.
As the officers broke into the Alberts’ home, "Boaz ran to one of the rooms and lay down on the floor. I could hear his cries of pain as he was repeatedly shocked by the police since he refused to leave the house on his own.”
Irit pointed out that even when the officers forcefully removed Boaz from his home, "they continued, as they dragged him towards a police car that waited in a nearby Arab village, to shock him again and again. It was dark but occasionally we could hear another scream and another scream and police yelling, ‘If you do not get up we will electrify you again.'”
Previously, Irit explained that neither her not her husband have been given a reason for the order, which threatens their livelihood as farmers at one of the busiest times of the season.
"Seven years ago, my husband received an order along with other residents – also without a reason. Last time, we went to court, we filed a High Court motion, but we felt that it was all a sham from the outset and that there is nothing left to do. It turns out that if there is an order from a general, no one dares overrule it. So now we refuse to take part in the sham,
“We are violating the order even if it means going to jail. It is clear to us that we must not respect the order. This is the most busy time of the year in the vineyard. Disconnecting a person from his wife, children and sustenance without a reason, especially at a time like this, is a terrible injustice.”
Judge Nava Bechor criticized both Albert and the police in the Friday morning hearing. She took Albert to task for not abiding by the distancing order he had been given, but criticized police for the timing of the arrest and the extreme force used despite Albert’s passivity.
Avraham Binyamin, spokesperson for the town of Yitzhar, said in response, “The horrifying video [of the arrest] proves with the strength of 1,000 witnesses that the law in the name of which the violent police were sent is not just or ethical. What justice requires is simple: Boaz at home.”