Angry Youths Accused of Rock-Throwing at Protest over Kidnapping
In the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens by Hamas terrorists, a group of angry Beitar Ilit residents on Saturday night conducted a demonstration on the main highway outside of town. In the course of the demonstration, police said that several youths threw stones at passing Palestinian vehicles,
Police moved in and arrested two youths, age 14 and 16, accusing them of throwing stones. The two were taken to the police station in Hevron and were arraigned in a Jerusalem court Sunday morning. Police asked the court to allow them to hold the youths for 48 hours while they gathered evidence in the case, a request that was subsequently denied by the court.
Attorney David Halevi, who is representing the youths on behalf of the Honenu legal rights organization, told the court that police had a very weak case, as they were unable to positively identify the youths as the culprits. Halevi said that the two had been identified as the rock throwers hours after the incident, and were arrested by an officer who was not involved in the incident at all. He added that there was no evidence at all of their culpability in the matter.
Agreeing with him, the court released the youths to house arrest, where there will remain until Tuesday.
“We believe that police rushed to make arrests, despite the weak case,” he said, adding that Honenu would continue to protect the rights of residents of Judea and Samaria.