The Jerusalem Magistrates Court ordered the release of four of the seven minor girls who have been imprisoned for three weeks despite their continued refusal to cooperate with the justice system. This, as opposed to earlier reports that all seven had been freed.  One girl was released Thursday when it became clear that police knew her identity from a card in her posession, and three more were freed Friday after a court-order required the parents to identify their daughetrs. A fast day on their behalf took place Thursday.

One of the seven teenage girls imprisoned for three weeks leaving the Jerusalem court Thursday after being set free.

(Photo: Honenu)

The first 14-year-old girl that was ordered released after police admitted she had been identified due to a card that was among her possessions. She continued to refuse to identify herself, along with her six friends. The girl was forcibly evicted from Gush Katif during the 2005 Disengagement and lives at the Nitzan caravan camp with hundreds of other expellees. About 30 friends of the young activists protested outside the courthouse on Friday.

The rest of the girls continued to refuse to identify themselves, saying they do not recognize the legitimacy of the political body that has taken over the court system and demanding to be tried by a court of Jewish law set up by the nascant Sanhedrin. They were returned to prison Thursday, but three were released Friday. Police appeared at homes of the three girls Thursday and said they had court orders demanding that parents turn over pictures of their jailed children.

The legal rights organization Honenu said that the action reflects intense public pressure on the courts to release the children. "These young girls have succeeded in forcing the entire system and have proven that Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria is not a crime," a Honenu announcement stated.

Members of the Sanhedrin, which aims to reestablish the Jewish legal body, gathered outside their prison to offer them support on Thursday, which, together with the Yesha Rabbi's Council, was declared a fast day.

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All were arrested three weeks ago for taking part in the building on an unauthorized hilltop near Beit El.

The hilltop, called Givat HaOr, was one of several established over the past year. Activists, routinely removed by police, the structures they built destroyed, continue to return to the points, vowing to built and settle them. Two such communities were forcibly emptied in recent days: Harchivi, near Elon Moreh and Shvut Ami, near Kedumim. Activists have already returned to both sites. The IsraelNationalTV video below documents the eviction.

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Aryeh Haffner contributed to this report