Following the detention on Monday, January 16, of six Jewish youths on suspicion of assaulting Arabs who approached the community of Geulat Tzion in the Shilo Block in Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, legal aid society Honenu has leveled an accusation of provocation against police, saying the entire event had been staged.
Honenu issued a statement saying it is extremely likely that the Arabs were accompanied by either undercover policemen or Mistaravim (agents disguised as Arabs), and that police, with the cooperation of the Arabs, staged a provocation.
According to Honenu, on the morning of Monday, January 16, six youths were detained after a clash broke out near the Geulat Tzion outpost in the Shilo Bloc. Two of the youths were released after interrogation by the Central Unit of Judea and Samaria Police. Police claim that the youths, and other Jewish residents, assaulted Arab growers who came to the area between the community and the Arab village of Turmus Aya, accompanied by police forces.
In a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Tuesday, January 17, the police representative refused to give any specific information about the incident. He refused to tell Honenu Attorney Adi Keidar – who represented four of the detainees, three of whom are minors – whether or not the incident had involved security forces disguised as Arabs, in an attempt to harass the residents and provoke them into driving the “Arabs” away.
The detainees were held in remand overnight.
During the hearing, Keidar claimed that following the recent court ruling permitting Jewish residents to remain in Geulat Tzion, police decided to stage incidents in order to provoke the residents into clashes, resulting in their detention and eventually their removal from the area.
Police representatives asked the detainees be remanded for an additional four days, but the court only extended their remand by one day.
According to Honenu, the courts have harshly criticized the use of soldiers disguised as Arabs to provoke Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria. Honenu stated that Police have staged such incidents in Havat Gilad, Susiya, Havat Har Sinai, Givat Ronen, Bat Ayin, Kochav HaShahar, and Adei Ad, all in the Shilo Bloc region.