Supreme Court´s Procaccia Keeps Girl in Prison

By Hillel Fendel


Supreme Court Justice Ayalah Procaccia gave the young teenager a choice: Leave home and town, pay 7,000 shekels, and guarantee another 30,000 - or stay in prison.

The girl, Yiskah, was arrested ten days ago for trying to block the building of a wall in the middle of Hevron's "Avraham Avinu" neighborhood, and her trial is today. She and several others stand accused of throwing stones at policemen during a violent evacuation of a building - though the Prosecution agrees it cannot be certain of the identities of the stone-throwers.


Yiskah is being kept company in prison by two other friends, also residents of Hevron. One of them refuses to cooperate with the authorities in any way, and the other says she won't leave until Yiskah is released.


The original incident occurred on Tuesday, June 13, after Justice Procaccia turned down the Jews' appeal for an injunction against the construction of the wall: a 2-3-story concrete barrier adjacent to the Jewish neighborhood's playground and apartments. The Jewish community says the wall enables an Arab family, previously banished because of terrorist activities, to return to its home and rebuild.


Ten days ago, dozens of police, riot squad, soldiers and officers appeared in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood for the wall-rebuilding mission. Facing them was a group of over 20 Jewish girls who had locked themselves into the community kindergarten, one of the areas declared a "closed military zone" for the occasion.


The ensuing two-hour attempt to break into the building and remove the girls was marked by a violent struggle on both sides. No one was hurt, but 19 of the girls, between the ages of 12 and 15, were arrested. The incident caused only a slight delay in the rebuilding plans, and by Wednesday, a slightly taller, reinforced concrete wall was standing.


"We have no intentions of living behind walls," a Hevron spokesman said afterwards, "especially when they are built to protect Arab terrorists. There is no reason why a known terrorist family should be awarded a home overlooking a Jewish neighborhood in Hevron. We will continue to protest until the wall is removed from our midst, one way or another."


Overturned Rulings

In the meantime, two lower courts ordered Yiskah released to house arrest, but the Prosecution appealed each time. When the case reached the Supreme Court, Justice Procaccia - as she has done in the past - essentially ordered the 14-year-old girl held in prison until the end of the proceedings against her. However, she also ordered a quick trial, beginning today.


"It's theoretically possible for the girls to be released today if the Prosecution presents its case quickly and my daughter is quickly convicted; which we are quite sure will be the outcome," Yiskah 's mother told Arutz-7.


"We, for our part, don't have any witnesses to call or anything like that. We're not taking part in this farce. But if the Prosecution asks for another day for summaries and the like, then it could take some extra time, and maybe even spill over into the month-long summer recess..."


Yiskah's mother says that her daughter has absolutely no sympathies for the justice system. "She has no interest in cooperating with a legal system in Israel that is not according to Jewish Law, and with criminals who accuse her of being a criminal," her mother said.


A number of years ago, Yiskah's father was placed under house arrest and then administrative detention for almost two years. He was later awarded 100,000 shekels for having suffered false arrest.



The father of one of the other girls accuses the system of attempting to "re-educate" those who do not agree with it. His daughter, Oriyah, 15, originally told the court, "I did nothing wrong, and there is no reason for me to sign on bail and thus recognize the court system that consistently fights against me and my ideals." The judge sent Oriyah back to her cell, where she was held for a week with no charges pressed against her.


"In other words," her father later wrote, "any citizen in Israel can be arrested for no reason and held in jail indefinitely simply because he does not recognize the authority of the court system. 'If you sign and recognize our authority,' the judges essentially explain, 'you can go free. If not, we have methods to help you to understand.'


"In Oriyah's case, those methods included revoking her rights to speak with her parents on the phone, and eventually separating her from her friends and sending her to a filthy solitary cell in a prison reserved for drug dealers and other sordid characters. The bottom line is that Oriyah, a minor, was imprisoned to force her to change her opinions and ideals. In plain English, that's called re-education."


When Oriyah was later charged with unruly behavior in a public place, the police claimed they had a video proving the charge. However, the prosecution soon admitted that there was no such video or any other evidence against her.


"Nevertheless," her father wrote, "the judge ruled that Oriyah will remain in prison until she is willing to sign on bail. With astounding candor she wrote that... the reason for Oriyah's imprisonment is her refusal to recognize the authority of the court... Oriyah is now back in prison. Not because she committed a crime. She is there simply because the court's re-education project has not yet been successful.


"Oriyah is a strong girl and has a solid support system of family and friends. With G-d's help, she will be fine. What is not fine is the fact that Israel's ruling elite is using the court system to oppress and re-educate Israel's Jewish majority."

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