Unusual court hearing - in the middle of the night

Jerusalem court holds legal discussion late at night, frees teenage girls who were arrested earlier in the day.

Contact Editor
Arutz Sheva Staff,

Demonstration in Jerusalem where girls were arrested
Demonstration in Jerusalem where girls were arrested
No credit

A judge in Jerusalem's Magistrates Court agreed to attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir's request to hold a discussion at night regarding the arrest of three minor girls who were arrested on Sunday evening.

According to Israel Police, the three were arrested for blocking a road at the entrance to Jerusalem, and acting violently towards policemen. They were then told that they would spend the night at the police station in Jerusalem's Russian Compound.

One of the girls is 13 years old.

Ben-Gvir then submitted an unusual request to hold a court discussion late on Sunday night, and Judge Dana Lekah-Cohen agreed to the request, since one of the girls was 13 and feared she would be traumatized by the arrest.

During the discussion, Israel Police said they have proof that the girls blocked a road and attacked policemen while under arrest. However, Ben-Gvir presented the court with a video clip of the arrest, showing that the ones who used violence were in fact the police.

According to Lekah-Cohen, she had gone through the written material and viewed the video, but could not rule out the claim that a policeman had been scratched during the incident.

However, she said, "the video does not show violent protest to arrest, and it could be that the scratches were caused by handcuffing the girls while one of them was still moving her hands."

"At any rate," she said, "the level of violence here seems to be low, and does not justify differentiating Avital from the other two minor girls."

She then ordered the girls to be released, but slapped the girls with a 500 shekel fine and forbade them from participating in any protests for the next 30 days.

"I am glad the court acceded to my unusual request to hold a discussion at night," Ben-Gvir said. "These girls were minors, and one of them is very young. The court did well to prevent them from undergoing the trauma of a night in jail."

"However, the very fact that they were arrested was unjustified and unnecessary in my opinion. Protesting is permitted in a democratic country, and protesting in Jerusalem is the same as protesting in Petah Tikva. We have not heard of any arrests made because people protested opposite the Attorney General's home in Petah Tikva, and certainly no minor girls were arrested.

"The very thought of holding a 13-year-old girl in jail for a night, just because the police think she blocked a road, is a problematic thought which proves that the police do not make the proper and professional considerations when it comes to those who wish to protest administrative detention orders issued against right-wing activists."