Graffiti at Duma arson site
Graffiti at Duma arson siteFlash 90

The District Court on Thursday released a minor to house arrest for participating in many “price tag” acts of vandalism including an arson attack the Dormition Abbey in Jerusalem, on a warehouse in the Palestinian town of Akraba in Samaria, as well as torching a Palestinian car.

The minor was arrested several months ago as part of the crackdown on Jewish extremist elements following the deadly arson attack in the Palestinian village of Duma last summer, though the youth has not himself been tied to the murder.

Following an appeal filed by attorneys Itamar Ben Gvir and Eldan Danino, the Supreme Court examined a the petition for the minor’s release, which noted that “even in severe cases we need to remember – detention is not a punishment.”

Following the Supreme Court’s decision, the counsel requested to release the defendant to house arrest in Nof Ayalon, but the ISA (Israeli Securities Authority or Shin Bet) objected to his alternative detention in that specific town.

On Thursday, the attorney’s suggested that he be released to house arrest in a town in the Golan Heights but the prosecution objected on the grounds that the proposed administrators that are to supervise the defendant do not know him.

"On one hand, when we offer family supervision the prosecution refuses on the grounds that there is an ideological affinity but when we offer outsiders, the prosecution opposes again,” protested Ben Gvir.

A District Court Judge received Ben Gvir’s complaints and stated that there is nothing wrong with the supervisors not knowing the defendant and determined that the minor be release to house arrest with a bail of 30,000 shekels (7700 USD) and under the close supervision of two custodians.

Moreover, the minor will be prohibited from making phone calls and is not permitted to leave the country.

“This is a good and important decision made by the District Court and the Supreme that accepted our argument and the precedent that we presented,” said Ben Gvir. “I hope that the Court will continue to review our claims that the confessions extracted from my client were made under duress, abuse and mistreatment and are therefore not usable.”

"I do not understand why the prosecution objected to the release day. The Supreme Court ruled that our client be released and we offered a very good substitution,” said Danino in a response.