Judge: Why did you not arrest a single Arab rioter?

District Court dismisses police appeal on release of worshipers who entered Joshua's tomb; criticizes fact that no Arab rioter arrested.

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Shlomo Pietrekovsky,

Car after attack by mob of Arabs
Car after attack by mob of Arabs
צילום: שמעון בן

Lod District Court Judge Nava Bechor rejected this afternoon (Monday) the police appeal against the release of the worshipers who were attacked after praying at Joshua's Tomb last week.

The judge accepted the position of attorney Chai Haber of the Honenu organization representing those arrested and criticized the police and the army who arrested the worshipers but did not arrest even one of the Arab rioters.

The judge ruled that the decision of the Magistrate's Court to unconditionally free the worshipers and the determination that no crime was committed was acceptable to her, and that since entrance to the village and the Tomb of Joshua are permitted, the worshipers' behavior does not constitute a criminal offense.

"Since there is no prohibition to enter Area B, including the village Kifl Hares, it is impossible to attribute an offense to the defendants [Jews arrested - SP] when it is only the local resident's behavior that became riots and developed into stone-throwing while yelling 'slaughter the Jews'", wrote Judge Bechor in her decision. "In this issue no specific response was received to the puzzlement expressed by the defense counsel, as well as by the court: Why were none of the Arab rioters there arrested, and instead only the defendants were?"

Attorney Chai Haber of Honenu Organization welcomed the court's decision: "As long as there is no legal prohibition to enter a certain area, the police and army must protect citizens who come there to pray. The security forces exist for this reason, to arrest terrorists and criminals, not citizens who have broken no law and only sought to exercise their right to pray".

The Honenu Organization issued a response to the court's decision: "Instead of arresting Arab rioters who tried to murder Jews, the police rewarded Arabs and arrested Jews. We are pleased that the courts did not give a hand to this dangerous behavior of the police that unfortunately encourages the Arab terrorists."