Ofra protesters won't be placed under house arrest

Israeli court rejects police appeal to place rooftop protesters under house arrest.

Shlomo Pyutrikovsky ,

Protesters on the roof of an Ofra home
Protesters on the roof of an Ofra home
Hadas Porush, Flash 90

Israel's Central District Court in Lod rejected Friday an appeal by Israel Police to amend the conditions under which the Ofra "roof protesters" would be released.

Israel Police insisted the court cancel orders restricting the protesters from traveling to Ofra, claiming five of the ten youths should be under house arrest.

Judge Yaakov Shinman rejected the police appeal, accepting instead the explanation of defense Attorney Hai Haber. According to Judge Shinman, the Israeli Police did not provide sufficient proof that the suspects deserved to be under house arrest. He also pointed out that the pictures were taken from several angles, and the youth's choice to remain on the rooftops and cause disruptions to order did not constitute a danger to anyone.

However, Judge Shinman did raise the bond signed by the guarantors from 5,000 NIS to 15,000 NIS.

Haber said, "It's no coincidence that police were unable to explain to the District Court why they want these youths to be under house arrest for such a long period of time. I am happy the courts took into account how serious it is to take away a person's freedom and accepted our claims."

On Wednesday, the Defense Ministry removed protesting youth from the rooftops of Ofra homes in order to begin the demolition ordered by Israel's Supreme Court.