The security coordinator for the illegal outpost of Gilad was arrested Tuesday on suspicion that he aided in vandalizing property in the Palestinian village of Fara’ata in the northern West Bank.
The incident, which occurred on Monday, involved spray-painting offensive graffiti and tire slashing. In addition to allegedly aiding in the vandalism, the coordinator Yair Oppenheimer is also accused of impeding the police investigation that followed. The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court extended his remand until Friday.
Col. Roi Zweig, the commander of the Israel Defense Forces’ Samaria Regional Brigade, spoke in court on Wednesday in defense of Oppenheimer. “He is one of the best security coordinators there are in terms of values and professionalism,” said Zweig, whose command is responsible for the Gilad outpost.
He added that Oppenheimer was the one who reported the incident to the army and sent evidence. In the past, said Zweig, Oppenheimer had acted to prevent similar incidents in the area.
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In addition to Oppenheimer, another security guard from the outpost was arrested for alleged involvement in the vandalism.
Oppenheimer’s attorney, Avichai Hajbi from the legal-defense group Honenu, appealed the remand extension.
He told the court that his client had “noticed three figures who aroused his suspicion, and subsequently called the army to the scene.” Hajbi asserted that the police had arrested Oppenheimer in order to pressure him into revealing the identities of the vandals but that his client didn’t know who they were.
“I am confident that in the next few days my client will be released and the case against him closed,” Hajbi said.