Complaint: Police photograph nude minors

Two Border Policemen film nude minors bathing in spring near Yitzhar for several minutes.

Mordechai Sones ,

Spring near Yitzhar
Spring near Yitzhar
Otzma Yehudit

A serious complaint was filed against two Border Policemen who it was claimed photographed a number of minors who were bathing nude in a spring near Yitzhar at the week's end.

In the complaint, Adv. Menashe Yado of the Honenu legal aid organization described the incident. "The complainant is about 12 years old. At the time of the incident he was with two 13-year-old friends. On June 7th, 2018 the complainant and his two aforementioned friends from the village of Yitzhar went down to bathe in the spring mikveh located at the foot of a hill. A Border Police jeep about 50 meters behind the children honked at the children who began to run to the spring. The children immersed in the nude as is customary according to the laws of immersion, and at the same time two Border Policemen arrived and began photographing the children on their personal phones.

Yado also noted that despite the children's requests to stop, the police continued to photograph them for many minutes. "In response, the children went over to a shady area where people undress and dress in privacy, but the police continued to photograph them. The children asked the policemen to stop so they could get dressed. The policemen agreed to allow the children a short period of time to get organized and left the area, but returned a few seconds later to take pictures of the children before they could get dressed.

"The children hid behind their towels, and again asked the police not to photograph them. At one point, one of the policemen went to the police vehicle to bring a larger camera. In addition, the police began interrogating one of the children about his dog's condition and required documents, and threatened him to call the dog unit to confiscate the child's dog," it said in the complaint.

Adv. Yado says, "This is a serious incident. Unfortunately, this isn't a one-time incident. It seems more like a result of hostile relations between police and residents. Precisely now when there is intensified policing in Yitzhar, the police must know their limits. If there's no clear justification, don't harm civilians. Police should be held accountable for serious acts but the entire public, especially the security authorities, should consider what causes two policemen to believe that in the course of their duty in Yitzhar, they need to photograph naked minors in a mikveh."

The Border Police said in response: "The soldiers in the area wanted to clarify the identity of the young people for internal inspection after they did not obey instructions on their way to the spring. Naturally, we will not be able to relate to the allegations while they are being examined by the authorized bodies."