Nationalists demonstrate in Jerusalem
Nationalists demonstrate in JerusalemIsrael news photo

As hundreds of hareidi-religious Jews were demonstrating in Jerusalem Saturday night against what they said was the unfair treatment of them in the media over the past several weeks, dozens of nationalists demonstrated in front of the Russian Compound in the city, where police headquarters are located, under the title: “The settlers are not enemies.”

The demonstrators protested against what they described as the police's “witch hunt” against nationalists. They carried signs which said that the settlers are not enemies and that supporters of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are not spies.

The protest came following recent allegations against nationalists, according to which a group of young people sent messages to residents of communities warning them against an impending demolition of their homes.

In at least one such case, video footage showed that police officers were harassing a nationalist inside his own home after he was arrested on suspicion of leaking military information to other residents in Judea and Samaria. 

“The main message is that the finger that arrested the activists and is accusing them of spying is not only directed towards those young people but at all of us,” Binyamin Gal, one of the organizers of the protest, told Arutz Sheva. “All the residents of Judea and Samaria are being accused of espionage and we must understand that those who ignore the arrests of these young people will at one point find themselves being accused of those same crimes.”

Among the participants in the process were members of the legal aid group Honenu, which provides free legal counsel to those Israeli citizens and soldiers who, despite claiming that they acted in self-defense against Arab attackers, find themselves accused of illegal acts by Israel’s law enforcement authorities.

The Honenu members told Arutz Sheva that they have noticed a rise in the serious violations by police of the basic rights of youth who are arrested. They added that there has been a significant rise in the number of detainees from Judea and Samaria in recent weeks. One such incident involved the arrests last month of seven girls, six of them minors, over events which occurred two months earlier.