'Celebrating Arafat's death not a crime'

3 Israel far-right activists win suit against police after being detained for causing a public disturbance.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
August 3, 2008 16:25
'Celebrating Arafat's death not a crime'

arafat 224 88 ap. (photo credit: )

A Jerusalem court has awarded three Israeli far-right activists NIS 4.500 each in damages after they were detained by Jerusalem police for publicly celebrating the death of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat four years ago, court documents released Sunday showed. The three men, Itamar Ben-Gvir, Baruch Ben-Yosef and Israel Bramnson, had been taken in for questioning by police after holding an honorary barbecue in a central Jerusalem square in November 2004 following news of Arafat's death. The three activists, who had filed suit against the State, were detained by police for three hours after refusing to vacate the site, and were later released without being charged. "The venue in which the plaintiffs chose to express their joy is one of the city's hubs and is no stranger to rallies and demonstrations," Judge Aryeh Romanoff wrote in his ruling, rejecting the state's claim the group caused a public disturbance by the gathering. The petitioners had asked the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court for NIS 12,000 each in damages.


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