Suspects in incitement against IDF commander released

Court orders release of two teenagers arrested for posting leaflets against Samaria Regional Brigade Commander.

Reut Hadar ,

Leaflet against Judea and Samaria Brigade Commander
Leaflet against Judea and Samaria Brigade Commander

The Rishon Lezion Magistrates Court on Thursday evening rejected the police's request to extend the detention of two teenagers who were arrested earlier in the day while posting leaflets around Judea and Samaria hitchhiking stops that criticized Samaria Regional Brigade Commander Colonel Gilad Amit.

The court ordered that the two be released unconditionally.

The judge ruled that the flyers do not constitute an offense of incitement, writing, "I accept the position of the counsel of the respondents that a person has the right to express his opinion on matters on the agenda, even if his opinion is not accepted, and even if it is expressed in blunt and outrageous language." The teenagers were represented by attorney Nati Rom on behalf of the Honenu legal aid organization.

Following the decision, other youths who were arrested during the day following the distribution of similar leaflets were also released.

Attorney Rom said following the ruling that "it is regrettable that time after time, minors are detained for long hours in violation of the law in general and the provisions of the Youth Law in particular. The court accepted all of our arguments and unequivocally stated that there was no incitement in the ads and that this was clear freedom of speech."

"We very much respect the IDF, but it is regrettable that the forces are busy with the persecution and silencing of boys who dispute the Brigade Commander on the issue of evacuation of outposts and protest the use of live ammunition against Jewish minors. It is to be hoped that all the parties will study the court’s ruling, internalize it and allow the youths to continue their legal and legitimate protest," added Attorney Rom.

The leaflets had been posted after an attempted evacuation of an outpost near Itamar in Samaria on Saturday turned violent. Soldiers had reacted with tear gas and riot control measures and fired into the air after allegedly being attacked by rioters.