Jerusalem District Court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by six girls ages 12, 14 and 15 against a lower court decision remanding them in custody until the end of the proceedings against them. The girls were arrested on suspicion that they attacked Palestin ian olive harvesters from the village of Sinjil, near the illegal West Bank outpost of Givat Haroeh.
The court also gave the suspects the option of suggesting an alternative to incarceration in jail as long as it did not include restricting them to their homes.
According to the indictment, the girls used knives to rip open the bags in which Palestinians collected the harvested olives and spilled the olives on the ground. They also allegedly attacked a soldier who had been assigned to protect the harvest ers, some of whom were elderly or disabled. The suspects also allegedly attacked the policemen who came to arrest them and wrote slogans praising Kach founder Meir Kahane and attacking former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in their jail cells.
Their lawyer, Epharim Katzir, who was hired by Honenu, an organization established to provide legal defense for anti-disengagement protesters, charged that the court discriminated against settlers by routinely remanding them in custody until the end of trial proceedi ngs. "One gets the impression that the court has a tendency to hold members of this community in custody while members of another community are not arrested," said Katzir, who accused the court of entrenching judicial rulings against Jewish settlers.ra