In Unusual Move, Israeli Public Security Minister Demands Review of Right-wingers' Arrests

Gilad Erdan, who is not normally involved in police decisions about arrests, demands to know why activists were detained on Independence Day

Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (right) and Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich.
Tomer Appelbaum

In an unusual move, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has demanded that Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich look into why several right-wing activists were arrested on Independence Day and to report his findings directly to him. The public security minister does not usually get involved in police decisions about arrests.

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One case involved the arrest of a right-wing activist, Avi Farhan, who waved an Israeli flag at the site of a protest march by Israeli Arabs. Police said Farhan had violated the terms that had been set for his protest and endangered himself and others by walking on the road near Atlit.

In another incident the same day, five right-wing activists were arrested in the West Bank for hanging signs criticizing Samaria Brigade Commander Col. Gilad Amit. The signs read, “Gilad Amit shoots Jews,” and they were hung outside the brigade’s base near Nablus. The signs were in response to an incident in which soldiers fired in the air while evacuating an illegal outpost, after settlers threw stones at them.

A judge ordered the release of all the suspects.