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Minors pullout arrests

by: Tal Rosner, Ynetnews - Last updated: 2005-08-10



A total of 688 children and teenagers were detained by Israeli police since January 2005 in connection with offences committed in the framework of the anti-pullout campaign.

The figures were provided by Deputy State Prosecutor, Shai Nitzan, in a letter of response sent Tuesday to 14 law professors.

According to the letter, about 10 youngsters are still in custody at this time, almost all of them 17 years of age. Nitzan stressed that the decision to keep the teens in custody stemmed from the risk they would pose if released.

Nitzan also blamed the minors’ parents, saying, "As a rule, even if a request has been submitted to keep under aged offenders in custody, we prefer to release them to an alternative arrest arrangement, but sometimes this is not possible due to lack of cooperation from the parents."

Recently law professors from leading Israeli universities sent a letter to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz and State Prosecutor Eran Shendar in which they stated their concern over what they referred to as "the drastic procedure of arresting minors until the conclusion of the legal proceedings."

Nitzan responded by saying, "The detainment policy of the public prosecutor's office regarding the disengagement in general, and with regard to the arrest of minors in particular, is restrained. Only in a few cases where there was no other choice minors were detained until the conclusion of the legal proceedings."
"We intend to continue with this policy in the future due to the added sensitivity that is involved with holding minors in custody," he said.

Recently High Court Judge Ayala Procaccia was harshly criticised for ordering the arrest of a 14-year-old anti-pullout protester until the conclusion of the legal proceedings against her.

Reproduced with permission and copyright: Ynetnews