Jew released after 5 months on 'false info'

Honenu hails release of right-wing activist after intel against him 'proven false,' demands administrative orders be rechecked.

Ari Yashar ,


The Honenu legal aid organization reported a dramatic development on Sunday afternoon, as the court ordered one of several Jews being held in administrative detention to be released, a month before the end of his detention.

Mordechai Mayer, a youth who has been in administrative detention without evidence or trial for five months over alleged connection to "price tag" vandalism, had his administrative order thrown out after it was found that he was jailed due to false information passed by the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud), Honenu said.

Israel Prison Services (IPS) officials informed Mayer on Sunday that he is to be released in the coming days from Eshel Prison.

The release notice comes after indictments were issued in the lethal Duma arson from July, which took place just before his arrest.

"The information presented before the Defense Minister and the courts was false information," released Honenu in a statement, emphasizing that both District Courts and the Supreme Court approved Mayer's administrative detention based on the information.

Honenu, which is representing Mayer with Attorney Itzik Bam, said, "this is an earthquake. A man sat five months in jail for nothing. We will demand a renewed check of all the administrative orders and administrative arrest orders that were apparently given on the basis of false information from the Shabak (ISA)."

"From the first moment Mayer argued he had no connection to the incident attributed to him. We note that after he was arrested and released for the incident attributed to him, he stayed for a long time on an administrative distancing order keeping him from Judea and Samaria, and afterwards for five additional months was on full administrative detention on the orders of the defense minister."

"Now it becomes clear he had no connection to the incident."

"Light trigger finger"

Attorney Sima Kokhav-Helek, who accompanied Mayer for Honenu throughout the arrest, said, "Mordechai Mayer was arrested with no crime on his hands, and he argued as much the entire way. Today, we were shown that all of his arguments regarding his innocence were correct."

According to the attorney, the turn of events "illustrates how much an administrative arrest critically harms the freedom of people, and how light the hand is on the trigger regarding administrative arrests against Jews on the background of incidents termed 'price tag.'"

"Mordechai sat many months in separation and isolation as a prisoner in all respects, even though he was completely innocent."

In the Duma arson case, indictments were issued on Sunday against two suspects, charging one young suspect of going alone into the center of the Arab village Duma in July, lighting a house on fire that turned out to be empty, before writing Hebrew graffiti on a wall of the house in which the Dawabshe family slept and then lighting it on fire, and afterwards escaping from the center of the village. The Dawabshe couple and an infant baby of theirs died in the arson.

A media gag order remains on the ISA interrogation methods of the investigation, although sources close to the investigation revealed last Thursday that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein gave permission to torture the suspects three weeks ago.