Police 'Assaulted' Youth Protesting J'lem Terror

Jewish youth submits complaint after protest of fatal attack last week, when he says officers brutally assaulted him in police station.

Netanel Katz, Ari Yashar,

Police arrest a Jewish protester (file)
Police arrest a Jewish protester (file)
Flash 90

A 20-year-old Jewish youth who was arrested last Thursday, during a protest at the Ammunition Hill light rail station in Jerusalem where a Hamas terrorist murdered two Jews the night before, has submitted a complaint to the Police Investigation Unit against officers who he says assaulted him.

According to the complainant, a yeshiva student arrested on suspicion of being part of a "forbidden gathering," he was brought to the Lev Habira police station where officers demanded to perform a full body search on him in the center of the station, in front of female officers.

When the youth asked to be searched in a private room as required by law, he reports that the officers hit him.

"Two officers choked me and slammed my head into the wall three or four times," related the complainant, who is being represented by the Honenu legal aid organization.

"I fell on the floor and then the officers continued to kick me, and one of them tried to lift me from the floor by pulling on one of my peot (sidelocks), which was partly torn off by the pull," he continued, adding that the officers then performed a full body search on him in the center of the station by force.

The violence left him with bruised, scratched and feeling dizzy, and on his request officers called a Magen David Adom (MDA) crew to the station to check his medical condition, at which they evacuated him to the hospital - but not before police gave him a summons to investigation. Several hours later he was released home from the hospital.

In video from the protest police can be seen using physical force on protesters, with several officers surrounding one man and lifting him bodily from the site as he struggles for freedom. It is unclear whether the man is the youth in question, as at least two protesters were arrested during the protest.

Attorney Rehavia Piltz of the Honenu civil rights organization, who arrived on the night of the incident to give legal aid to the arrested, said he saw the depression caused to the plaster wall of the station where the youth's head was slammed into it.

Despite the violence he claims was used against him, the youth was ordered to appear at the station on Sunday, where he was investigated under suspicion of taking part in an "illegal protest," and later released after a court discussion.

In addition to the complaint to the Police Investigation Unit, the youth is weighing whether to launch a civil lawsuit against the violent officers.

"The management of the police in the youth's case raises great concern," said Attorney Hur Uriel Nizri of Honenu, who will represent the youth. "Violent behavior lacking all limits and against the law, on the part of those who are relied on for defending the law, crosses a red line."

"The Israeli Police must remove violent officers and violent acts against the law from its midst," added Nizri. "It is unthinkable that in the heart of the capital, the basic rights of a youth should be rudely trampled on figuratively and literally."

In the protest last Thursday, some of the protesters blocked the light rail tracks for a few minutes in an act of demonstration against the spread of terror. Police forces started evacuating them by force, at which small skirmishes broke out and at least two protesters were arrested.

Responding to the skirmish, Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir said "the ones guilty for the disorder that has developed is the Jerusalem police who deployed horses and cavalry and unnecessary force. The public is furious at the government and rightly so."

Nationalist activist Bentzi Gopshtain who also took part in the protest said "it's sad that the Israeli police under (Interior Security Minister Yitzhak) Aharonovich use violence against good Jews demanding revenge and don't raise a finger against Arabs who burn, stone and murder."




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