'These orders have no justification and are meant to destroy us'

'Hilltop youth' demands police present evidence against him after he was banned from seeing his friends since the age of 15 - without trial.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Attorney Nati Rom
Attorney Nati Rom
צילום: ללא קרדיט

The Associate Chief Justice of the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, Judge Yehoshua Zimmerman, ruled that Moshe Shahor, an 18 year old youth from Ramle, will remain in custody until the end of the proceedings against him. This comes after Shahor refused to accept the harsh conditions imposed on his release.

Shahor explained that life under the conditions of the administrative orders he has received the past 3 years have not allowed him to conduct a normal life. “Three years I have been under administrative restrictions without ever having faced a trial. I have been separated from my friends during this time. How am I supposed to live?” Shahor demanded that the police detail and present their reasoning in a clear manner before the court as is done in a democracy.

Shahor was arrested last week in a police raid on an apartment in Jerusalem where several youths banned from Judea and Samaria were living. The youths were renting an apartment near a yeshiva where several of them were learning and close to the workplaces of several others. According the police, the raid came after multiple cases of damage to Arab property in the Jerusalem area. During the raid seven youths were arrested for violating an administrative order prohibiting them from communicating with other friends of theirs.

Several of the youths refused terms of release that required them to accept the conditions of the administrative orders. While Shahor was still under arrest, Central Commander Roni Numa, issued another administrative order that placed further restrictions on Shahor. Police officers from the Nationalistic Crimes Unit delivered the order to Shahor shortly before a hearing scheduled at a Jerusalem Court about the alleged violation of the previous administrative order.

During the first hearing, the youths had stated that “the Israel Security Services (Shin Bet) and police are harassing us and persecuting us.” Shahor reiterated at a hearing that “the administrative order this court is discussing is not because of anything I did or am even accused of doing. It is an administrative order issued without any explicit justification.” Shahor added, “The order was issued purely to destroy the phenomenon of ‘hilltop youth’- a group of Jews who simply want to live Jewish lives in the land of Israel.”

Attorney Nati Rom, who represented Shahor on behalf of Honenu, criticized the court ruling that Shahor would remain incarcerated. “It is sad to see youths, many of them minors, who have no criminal record being subjected to severe restrictive conditions that do not allow them to live routinely in terms of friends, family, school, and work for long periods without a judge ever having issued a ruling.” Attorney Rom also criticized Commander Numa for using these administrative orders, “The situation is completely unacceptable. They have taken administrative procedures that are intended for extreme cases of truly life-threatening dangers, procedures meant to be used intermittently for short periods of time until evidence can be brought before a judge, and have used them as a standard method of punishing youths whose ideological activism does not fit with the views of the commanders. Further, this has been going on for years. There has been a clear lack of judgement here.”

In conclusion, Attorney Rom also criticized the actions of the police. “We hear a considerable amount about a lack of resources to deal with real and serious crimes taking place in Israel, like the situation in south Tel Aviv, thefts of vehicles, organized crime syndicates, and more. One must ask, ‘Where are the police resources going?’ Sadly the answer is that entire divisions have been created to deal with youths living in Judea and Samaria. These divisions use harsh means that no criminal, regardless of the seriousness of his alleged crimes, would be subjected to.”