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Hundreds Show Support for Imprisoned Youths

First Publish: 6/12/2005, 2:42 PM / Last Update: 6/12/2005, 1:48 PM

Some 70 youths, aged 12-17, are still imprisoned for their anti-disengagement road-blocking activities. Hundreds gathered outside the Massiyahu Prison in Ramle Saturday night to show support.

The "Melaveh Malka" (traditional Saturday night farewell to the Sabbath queen) rally - now a weekly event - featured singing and inspirational speeches. Rabbi David Chai HaCohen, Chief Rabbi of Bat Yam, told the assembled, "We will not rest until those who are inside are replaced by those who are now leading the expulsion plan." MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union), who was also at the rally, said similar things.

Rabbi HaCohen called upon the hareidi-religious United Torah Judaism party not to remain in a government that is planning to expel Jews from their homes.

Administrative detainee Neriah Ofan, who was arrested without charges last month, spoke to the crowd by phone-speaker, and called upon the crowd to continue the struggle. Ofan is to remain in prison until Sept. 30.

A busload of Gush Katif residents also arrived.

Two teenaged girls were released from prison this past Thursday, after agreeing to remain under "community arrest" - i.e., to remain within their town, except for eventualities such as medical reasons or school, until the end of the legal proceedings against them.