Rare Administrative Detention for Jewish Israeli Approved by Defense Minister Gantz

The man, who lives in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, recently finished serving a year in prison for attacking a Palestinian when he was a minor

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
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A car vandalized by settlers in the West Bank in January.
A car vandalized by settlers in the West Bank in January.Credit: B'Tselem
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

Defense Minister Benny Gantz signed an administrative detention order against a Jewish Israeli man on Sunday, the second time he has done so in a month. The order, which allows detention without the approval of a judge, will be in force for three months.

The man, who lives in the settlement of Yitzhar in the northern West Bank, recently finished serving a year in prison for attacking a Palestinian when he was a minor.

Administrative detention orders are rarely used against Jewish Israelis: Only two such orders are in effect, compared to 530 orders issued against Palestinians under administrative detention.

The man was arrested and interrogated last week on suspicions of attacking Palestinians, but was released after being questioned. The detention order does not state why he was arrested.

The attack he was convicted of occurred in January 2021, during the protests after the death of a settler, Ahuvia Sandak, in a police chase in the West Bank. He was convicted of trying to hurt Palestinians and damage their property after he threw stun grenades and stones at the homes of four Palestinians, along with seven other young men.

A window broken by settlers in the West Bank, last year.Credit: Israel Police

He confessed to his actions and was convicted of aggravated battery motivated by racism, as well as possession of a knife and intentionally causing damage to a vehicle.

After his release from prison, his friends organized a convoy of some 30 vehicles that left from the Tapuah junction and passed through the town of Hawara in the West Bank, according to authorities. At one point, a few of the passengers got out of the cars and threw stones at cars and stores, police say.

According to Palestinians, three people were injured lightly in the incident and damage was caused to stores and vehicles in the town.

Adi Keidar, a lawyer from the Honenu organization representing the detainee, said: “While Israel is under a terrorist offensive, there are those who are still busy with persecution of Jews instead of chasing after the enemy. It is a shame that this is the way things are, and we will petition the court for his immediate release.”

Last month, Gantz signed an administrative detention order against a right-wing Jewish activist from the Givat Ronen outpost, south of Nablus. The man, 21, is in detention on suspicion of committing terrorist acts, including arson, assaulting left-wing activists, vandalizing the vehicles of Palestinians, and other crimes.

Prosecutors said at the time that they would file an indictment against him, but have not done so. Two weeks later, the Central District Court in Lod shortened his period of detention by two weeks, and he is now scheduled to be released on April 21.

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