Efforts on Behalf of Cytryn

A budding letter-writing campaign to Justice Minister Tzippy Livny is underway on behalf of an 18-year-old yeshiva student charged with attempting to murder an Arab rock-thrower.

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Hillel Fendel, | updated: 16:32

Shimshon Cytryn of Nachliel has been imprisoned for nearly two months, following a violent rock-throwing incident in the Arab Muassi area of what was then Gush Katif.

Filmed throwing a rock at an Arab who was seen throwing rocks himself, Cytryn stands accused of "attempted murder" as a result. For days after the incident, the Arab was portrayed as having been critically wounded in a "lynching," when in fact the next morning it was already known that he was only lightly hurt.

One letter written to Justice Minister Tzippy Livny of the Likud ("zlivni@knesset.gov.il ") states, "Please investigate the case of Shimshon Cytryn... The Arab himself denies any harm done by Shimshon. So why is this boy still in jail? Is there NO justice in this country?"

The wounded Arab in fact acknowledged, in an interview on Israel Radio's Reshet Bet station, that he was not harmed by a civilian but rather by the butt of an M-16 rifle held by a soldier.

Another letter states,
"Dear Minister Livni,
Please see that justice is done. Murderers of all stripes should be prosecuted without regard to race or religion. Similarly, demonstrators should be treated fairly whether it is Arabs protesting the security fence or Jews protesting the expulsion from Gaza.
Shimshon Cytryn is being treated as a murderer when he was a demonstrator. DO NOT let the system lynch an innocent man! ... Please personally oversee this case and ensure its fairness."

Though a week ago, over 250 disengagement-protest arrestees were being held in Dekel Prison in Be'er Sheva, almost all of them have since been released - except for Cytryn and approximately a dozen others. These latter have been moved to Maasiyahu Prison in Ramle, where a total of close to 60 such prisoners are being held.

His family is concerned that the GSS (General Security Service) is anxious to take out its wrath on Shimshon - despite the dearth of evidence against him. "How is it possible," one family member writes, "to accuse someone of so severe a crime for merely throwing a stone in self-defense over a wall and no-one saw where it landed, after the Arabs were constantly bombarding the Jews with rocks? ... He is a very caring person who is always helpful towards others and doesn't deserve to have his life come to an end."

For more information on the case and the campaign, send email to "amcytryn@netvision.net.il".