Police to Pay 14-year-old Settler $2,200 for Unlawful House Arrest

Police kept the teen under nighttime house arrest, even though an order mandating this had expired

Prefabricated homes in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Yitzhar, near Nablus. May 7, 2014.
REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Police will pay thousands of shekels to a 14-year-old West Bank settler for having kept him under nighttime house arrest even though an order mandating this had expired.

The army had issued the original administrative order putting the teen, a far-right activist from the settlement of Yitzhar, under curfew, but it expired in August 2017. Yet police continued to harass him and his family even after it expired, the teen said, arriving regularly at night to make sure he was at home.

He eventually filed suit, and the parties later reached an out-of-court settlement. The Shai (West Bank) District police agreed to pay him 7,500 shekels ($2,200), but without admitting culpability.

Police said they failed to notice the August expiration date because the information in their computer system wasn’t properly updated. The original order has been in force until December 2017, but the Military Court of Appeals later shortened its duration to August 2017.

But the suit said the teen’s parents and lawyer had contacted the police after one nighttime visit and informed them that the order had expired, yet were told by a policeman at the police station in Ariel that “in any case there’s an order to check” whether the boy was sleeping at home.

Last September, on the eve of the Rosh Hashana holiday, police even detained the teen for violating the administrative order by being elsewhere in the West Bank at night, though by that point the order was no longer valid. He said he was released after about 90 minutes, once the police realized his detention was unjustified. But because the holiday had already started and religious Jews don’t travel by car on holidays, he had to leave the police station on foot and walk back to where he was staying.