Haredi rabbi who threatened IDF general released to house arrest

Iram was indicted last week for threatening IDF Maj.-Gen. Manpower Chief Moti Almoz for his part in drafting haredim into the army.

By
June 15, 2017 20:15
1 minute read.
haredim IDF soldiers

Haredi extremists burn haredi IDF soldier in effigy. (photo credit: HAIM GOLDBERG)

 
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Nazareth Magistrate’s Court Judge Osila Abu Assad on Thursday ordered the state to free a haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbi from custody, who was indicted for threatening an IDF general in charge of drafting haredim into the army.

In place of keeping him in jail, as requested by the prosecution, the court ordered Rabbi Moshe Iram transferred to house arrest with a family in Jerusalem until the end of his trial.

Iram was indicted last week for threatening IDF Maj.-Gen.

Manpower Chief Moti Almoz for his part in drafting haredim into the army.

On May 5 and for several days after, the indictment said that Iram traveled to Almoz’s hometown and accosted him both at his synagogue and around his residence.

Iram not only spit at Almoz, the indictment stated, but also yelled, “There is a law and there is a judge” and implied that Almoz “would face a grave punishment” for drafting haredim, and in particular orthodox women.

According to Iram’s lawyer, activist Itamar Ben-Gvir, much of the accusations are exaggerated and the real issue is authorities cracking down on protests near senior officials’ homes.

Regardless of the ultimate outcome of the trial, the court ruled against the prosecution’s argument that it would be dangerous to free Iram from police custody in light of his alleged threats against Almoz.

The court also ordered a social worker to interview Iram to determine whether he could be trusted to be granted additional leniencies beyond transfer to house arrest.

Ben-Gvir responded to the court decision declaring, “I do not agree with Iram’s views, but it is hard to ignore the feeling that the police are on a crusade of harassment. This is a slippery slope that will harm free speech.”

The prosecution requested that the decision be frozen for 24 hours while it weighed an appeal.

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