Jerusalem Court Calls Arrest of Palestinian Suspected of Planting Explosive Device 'Dramatization'

The East Jerusalem student was accused of planting an explosive device alongside the separation barrier on Thursday

A file photo of Israel's separation wall in East Jerusalem with cement wall in foreground, buildings in background.
Haaretz/Olivier Fitoussi

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court dismissed charges on Tuesday against a 20-year-old Palestinian student accused of planting an explosive device alongside the separation barrier and throwing explosive devices at security forces.

In her ruling, Judge Sharon Lary-Bavly called the police’s charges “an excessive dramatization” and “baseless.”

>> 'Living in a prison, though I have the key': All alone on the wrong side of Israel's separation barrier >>

A college student majoring in medical imaging without a criminal record, he turned himself in to the police a few hours after authorities visited his home last week. He denied any of the suspicions against him during questioning.

The judge said she discovered during the hearing that the arrest warrant in the case bore her signature – even though she says she never signed it.

During the court hearing, it was revealed that no firing mechanism was attached to the gas cylinder and the evidence against the man was very weak.

The judge said that even if the student did place the gas cylinder by the separation wall, it is a reach to describe him as highly dangerous. The claims in the secret report presented to the court that he threw explosive devices, including gas cylinders, “has no basis in reality,” she wrote.

“Explosive devices were not thrown and there was no need to neutralize [explosive] devices,” said Lary-Bavly.

Ahmad Awawda, the student’s lawyer, said: “We are pleased with the court’s decision, which examined the case in depth and did not hesitate to release my client under minimal limitations – despite the serious crimes unjustly attributed to him by the police. In addition, my client denies any involvement in the incident, and the court stood firm that the facts concerning the [alleged] incident do not exist, nor a single one of the crimes of which he is accused.”

The student was arrested for a long list of serious security-related crimes, among them: charges of planting explosive devices, attempted homicide, attempting to cause an explosion, attempting to plant explosives and attempting to attack soldiers.