Kokhav Hashahar celebrates release to house arrest of suspect
Kokhav Hashahar celebrates release to house arrest of suspect Kokhav Hashahar

The town of Kokhav Hashahar in Samaria is holding a protest on Saturday night against the general security service's attempt to "frame" citizens, over the lethal Duma arson in July.

One of the Jewish suspects held on vague suspicions of involvement was released to a five day house arrest on Friday due to a total lack of evidence, but the town says the move is not enough.

"Until the Shabak (Israeli Security Agency) cleans house, the struggle will not end," said residents of the town in a statement.

"Someone appointed to the investigation gives himself permission to crudely and arrogantly call a rabbi and heads of a community 'terror collaborators,' 'supporters of terrorists,'" they complained.

Attacking the statements, they said of Kokhav Hashahar that it is "a community that just several months ago mourned Malachi Rosenfeld - and he is the latest of four victims in the past decade; a community with two residents who received an honorary citation in Operation Protective Edge; whose high school yeshiva that is taught by residents of the community is in third place in terms of enlistment to the (IDF) combat units."

"A community that has ongoing ties with the law authorities, that just now trained a cadre of volunteers who joined the civilian guard and fill the gaps in the Israel police, whose Magen David Adom (MDA) team is the only team in the sector and its members are a rescue force at the expense of their work and family life 24/7 including holidays, Shabbat and days off."

"A community that for years brings out cakes and food to our soldiers in the sector each week, a community full of faith, mercy and love for our dear state, for the IDF and all the legal bodies."

"This is a staining of us all. Of all lovers of the land. Of every combat soldier. Of every Zionist and every settler. Of every citizen. This is a strategic and existential threat to the strength of Israeli society. To the joint service in the IDF. To the friendship, camaraderie and mutual involvement," they said regarding the statements and shocking arrests.

"We will not let this loss of values pass by, which if it does not stop will drag us all into a whirlwind of madness. In the name of defending all those dear to us, I ask you personally to take part in the efforts to clean this stain," wrote the town's representative.

At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, the community plans to protest, calling on Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) to stop harassing Jews out of frustration at not finding the perpetrators behind the Duma arson.

The suspects have suffered numerous rights violations - they have been refused religious rights such as lighting Hanukkah candles, been banned from seeing their lawyers for over two weeks in some cases, several have been denied medical treatment after being beaten during arrest, and just this Friday a suspect was denied clean underwear.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) two weeks ago on Friday admitted that there is no evidence to try the suspects, and sources close to at least one suspect have revealed investigators admitted to them they know he is not connected to the arson.

Some argue the investigation is following the wrong lead, given reports and unusual circumstances at the scene of the crime indicating the arson may have been an inside job committed by feuding residents of the Arab village. Israel has reportedly left investigation of the Arab village to the Palestinian Authority (PA), instead chasing the "Jewish terrorism" angle based on Hebrew graffiti found at the site.