18 Year-Old Banned For Opposing Demolition

Police push for 60-day ban, allegedly as 'punishment' for defendant choosing hearing; Jerusalem judge reduces sentence.

Ornit Etzer ,

Police at a demolition (archive)
Police at a demolition (archive)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Jerusalem Magistrates Court has banned an 18 year-old Jewish man from the Binyamin (Samaria) region on Monday for the next 15 days, after he rebelled against Civil Administration workers demolishing homes in the Shiloh bloc last week. 

The Israel Police demanded during the hearing a far heavier sentence - a 60-day ban, five days under house arrest, and a 1000 shekel ($250) fine. 

Attorney David Halevi, representing the young man on behalf of rights group Honenu, argued that police conduct during the demolition was serious and unacceptable, however, and demanded to know why the conditions for the detainee's release were raised.

Halevi argued as well that the new demands were "punishment" for the boy refusing to sign a document which would have guaranteed an earlier release. 

Justice Joya Saqifa Shapira accepted the argument, reducing the sentence to a 15-day ban and the fine. 

"I cannot accept the defendant's position that once the respondent refused to sign a release on the terms the police sought to impose on him and to go to court [instead], there is room for increasing the punishment," Shapira wrote. 

"My client was released, a decision that speaks in itself," Halevi stated after the trial. "The police conduct is outrageous, especially since the court changed and intensified the [client's] conditions of release because my client refused to sign a release for more lenient conditions at the [police] station"

"The court also criticized the [police's] conduct, [which] indicates that the conditions for release were determined not due to investigative needs, but as a form of punishment for refusing to sign on to the terms offered to him at the station," he added.