Court Extends Remand of Man Suspected of Throwing Stones at anti-Netanyahu Protesters in Haifa

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Border Police and protesters outside the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, August 1, 2020.
Border Police and protesters outside the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, August 1, 2020.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

After five people were arrested on Saturday night on suspicion of attacking protesters at demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one had his detention extended on Sunday, two were put under house arrest and two were released from custody.

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Out of the 12 protesters arrested at Saturday night's protest outside the prime minister's residence in Jerusalem, 10 have been released, and two suspected of attacking a police officer were placed under house arrest.

About 10,000 people protested in Jerusalem Saturday night, in the latest of a series of demonstrations calling for Netanyahu's ouster, in light of corruption charges against him and his failure to rein in the coronavirus crisis. Across the country, thousands of activists representing the anti-corruption Black Flags movement gathered at 260 bridges and junctions for the sixth consecutive week.

On Sunday morning, the Haifa Magistrate's Court extended the detention through Tuesday of a man suspected of throwing a stone at protesters slightly injuring a woman of 63. Police on Saturday identified the suspect as a homeless man in his 40s, but protesters said that they saw him get out of a car.

Attorney Moran Schlesinger, s representing the suspect as a public defender, said that "this is a man living on the street" and was coping with mental illness. He added that he did not throw the stone for ideological reasons. "The suspect was brought to court while he was suffering from a broken leg," Schlesinger said. "He claims that police were very violent against him in his arrest and it caused the injury. His complaint has been filed with the unit for investigating police officers." 

Two people who were arrested Saturday on suspicion of attacking protesters in the south were put under house arrest, and two more were released from custody. Three of the five – residents of Be'er Sheva in their 20s – splashed water on protesters at the Sderot Junction. The fourth spit, screamed and cursed at protesters at the Ashkelon Junction.

Police also released two people arrested for spraying graffiti while protesting outside the home of Supreme Court President Esther Hayut in Tel Aviv Saturday, in demand that the court bar the protests from taking place near Netanyahu's residence.

The arrest of right-wing activist Sheffi Paz in Tel Aviv, August 1, 2020.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

In a statement, the police said that both suspects, including anti-asylum seeker activist Sheffi Paz, were arrested for destruction of property. They were released unconditionally at the end of their hour-long interrogation, in which they were asked about two other incidents in which they graffitied property.  

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