Daily Israel Report

'Let Our Children See a Lawyer!'

Parents of five youths arrested on suspicion of 'price tag' protest outside court; mother says 'they took him like it was a dark regime.'
By Yoni Kempinski, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 5/19/2014, 3:25 PM

'Let our children see a lawyer'
'Let our children see a lawyer'
Yoni Kempinski

Outside of the Petah Tikva Magistrates Court on Monday, the parents of five youths arrested by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) on suspicion of "price tag" vandalism protested the discussion on extending their children's detention.

The Honenu legal aid representation reported that the discussion on extending detention is to be held shortly this afternoon - and that the youths have been denied the right to legal representation.

The protesters outside the court held signs reading: "let the children see a lawyer!" "we also have rights", "enough of the leftist dictatorship", and "enough of the witch hunt."

Dganit, whose son was among those arrested and prevented from seeing a lawyer, said "it's a very very difficult feeling, having such a basic and elementary right as meeting a lawyer denied to our children."

"I don't even know what he's charged with, they took him like it was a dark regime; they silence us, they won't let us see him, not in the court discussions, not in between, nothing," Dganit reported.

"I hope he feels that we're with him, and that we love him, so that he won't break," added the concerned mother.

Cracking up or cracking down on "price tag"?

This is not the first allegation of Shabak mistreatment of "price tag" suspects, with refusing legal representation being an unfortunately common phenomenon.

A couple from Yitzhar in Samaria were arrested in late April over suspicion that their car was involved in a "price tag" vandalism, and reported that they were refused access to a lawyer. They also alleged that investigators told them "you'll never see your children again."

In another case, a 45 year-old Beit Shemesh woman was arrested last Sunday, in an investigation launched after the arrest of her teenage son allegedly went nowhere. Her son had been detained the previous week on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime, police said, after he and another youth were found with markers and nails in their bags.

Authorities have also been accused of hysteria, after it was revealed that public funds were being used to fund a drone continuously monitoring a man who was arrested on suspicion of an arson attack on Arab-owned orchards in March.

Meanwhile an Arutz Sheva report in January revealed that in at least some of the cases, anti-Arab "price tags" were being systematically staged by Arab activists.

There have also been numerous incidents of Arab "price tagging", including on the graves of Tannaic scholars in the north and swastikas scrawled on Israeli flags in the heart of Jerusalem, both on the same week as Independence Day. Such incidents receive notably less, if any, media attention.