(photo credit: INIMAGE)
A Jewish settler has been released from administrative house arrest, in a rare decision opposed by the IDF and which went beyond its normal framework of dealing solely with Palestinian cases.
The decision by Col. Netanel Benishu, president of the Military Appellate Court for Judea and Samaria, was handed down on Sunday, but was announced only on Thursday by the right-wing NGO Honenu.
Yet Benishu’s decision was mixed. Even as he struck down the arrest restrictions, he upheld an IDF restraining order obligating the Adei Ad settler, whose name is under gag order, to stay in Karnei Shomron and restricted him from traveling to most West Bank areas and within the Green Line.
The order also still bars him from communicating with a list of other right-wing activists.
In his ruling, Benishu explained that classified intelligence he reviewed showed that the man still is a sufficient danger to public order in the West Bank to justify the restraining order on travel and on his communications.
At the same time, he contradicted the defense establishment’s estimate that the danger the man presented is sufficient to justify continued administrative house arrest.
The courts almost always defer to the security establishment on issues involving administrative detention and related orders.
Honenu said that in the last decade there were only two cases in which an IDF courts canceled administrative orders. In one case, the court ruled that the danger presented by the detainee was criminal and not ideological- nationalistic.
In the other case, the courts canceled the order, but the High Court of Justice restored it on appeal.
It is also extremely rare that the courts handle any cases related to Jews. Legally, Jews living in the West Bank are subject to military jurisdiction just as Palestinians are, but in practice all attorneys-general have ordered that criminal cases against them be brought in Israeli civilian courts.
The exception is that the courts do occasionally get involved when military orders are issued against right-wing activists.
Honenu lawyer Menashe Yaado responded, “The decision reveals that the OC Central Command is quick on the trigger for administrative orders. We are happy that the court canceled the house arrest order... in which my client sat for two months...
along with his wife and baby boy, exposed to intensive and harmful police inspections.”
He added, “I hope that the OC Central Command internalizes the message and ceases causing illegal harm to citizens’ rights.”