Nine years after being arrested for violating the law during a rally protesting the disengagement, Kiryat Arba resident and mother of four Miriam Schlissel got a knock on the door several week ago. Turns out she had been indicted for rioting, and no one told her about it.
Now, the Israeli justice system wants its due. Schlissel has been ordered to appear in court to face trial on the charges. Rights organization Honenu, which is representing her, called the incident “a ridiculous waste of time and resources.”
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Schlissel said that she had been involved in a protest in 2005, before the disengagement. She participated in a road closure protest, which was common at the time for protesters of the disengagement, and was subsequently arrested. She was held overnight and released, and did not hear anything more about the incident – until last month.
“Two officers appeared at the door and handed me a summons,” she said. “I had no idea what it was about, and they did not tell me any details, instructing me to call the court instead.” She managed to get her first court appearance postponed as she tried to investigate why she was being summoned to court. Finally, she was able to get the information she needed; the police had decided to reopen the case against her.
Schlissel, who was an 18-year-old single student at the time, said that the strangest thing was that the summons came at the height of Operation Protective Edge, which, she said, demonstrated just how right the protests against the disengagement were. “Now a lot of people are complaining that we did not protest enough, given the situation in Gaza,” she said. “It's odd that they would pick that specific time to reopen the case.”
Schlissel is being represented by Honenu. In a statement, the organization expressed shock at the proceedings in Schlissel's case, adding that she is far from the only one dealing with this kind of situation. Other disengagement detainees are also only now finding out about the cases against them, the group said.
“It's too bad no one in the police force has the wisdom or foresight to dispense with these cases, which would have saved this woman and many others a lot of pain and suffering.” According to Honenu, the cases are going to be thrown out of court immediately for numerous reasons, not the least of which is the expiration of statutes of limitations on theses cases.
In a statement, Judea and Samaria police said that the officers who delivered the summons “did their job on behalf of Jerusalem police, who are handling this case.” The Jerusalem Police have not commented on the matter yet.