(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Home Front Command served a Silwan resident with a restraining order that forces him to leave Jerusalem for four months, the Post learned on Thursday. Silwan resident Adnan Geith, 35, was arrested seven times in the past two months for clashing with security forces before he received the order to temporarily leave Jerusalem on November 25.
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East Jerusalem Arab residents are often served with restraining orders by the police as part of the interrogation process, that requires them to stay away from their home neighborhood for a temporary period. But Geith’s restraining order is unique because he must leave the entire city, not just move to another neighborhood as most restraining orders require.
Also, Geith’s restraining order was served by the Home Front Command,
which usually does not deal with restraining orders inside Israeli
territory. In the West Bank, restraining orders served by the army are
issued against Arab residents, and infrequently Jewish settlers, when an
individual is being investigated about a violent incident. The army is
responsible for the restraining orders in the West Bank because it is
the highest authority in the area.
Despite being located over the 1967 borders, Silwan falls within the
Jerusalem municipal borders. Home Front Command served Geith with the
restraining order by invoking Israel’s State of Emergency, which gives
the army the ability to issue restraining orders against any citizen
without due process, or a trial. The law that gives the army this power
dates back to British-mandate Palestine, when the British army
instituted a State of Emergency to deal with the violent clashes. The
Knesset votes annually to re-extend the State of Emergency.
“We are always in a state of emergency, but we do have a criminal system
in place,” said Ronit Sela, spokeswoman for the Association for Civil
Rights in Israel. She said this is the first time ACRI is aware of the
military invoking the State of Emergency to serve a restraining order
against an Israeli resident. “It’s something they’ve never used before,
and they are implementing it in order to deal with something that there
are regular means to deal with,” she said.
Geith, 35, owns a small grocery in Silwan and has four children.
Authorities have been familiar with Geith for his frequent involvement
in clashes in the area. He is also active in the Silwan protest tent in
the Al Bustan neighborhood and served as the Silwan community
representative to Fatah. Two years ago, he was imprisoned for six
“I don’t recognize this order,” he told twenty community members in
Arabic at a press conference on Thursday morning. “It’s irrational that
the military can issue this order to deport me while bringing in
settlers,” he added.
Geith told the Jerusalem Post
that he has retained a lawyer, even though he has little trust in the
Israeli court system. He hopes it will buy him time until other Arab
countries convince the UN to pressure Israel to remove the decree.