Jerusalem judge orders release of Palestinian man responsible for Herzliya manhunt

Citing lack of evidence of planned terror attack, judge rejects 5-day remand pending police appeal.

Gavel [Illustrative] (photo credit: INIMAGE)
Gavel [Illustrative]
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
Less than 48 hours after being arrested in Herzliya following a manhunt for allegedly planning to carry out a terrorist attack there, a Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court judge on Wednesday ordered the release of east Jerusalem resident Ahmed Hatib from custody.
Citing a lack of evidence, Judge David Shaul Gabai Richter rejected a police request to remand the 20-year-old Sur Baher resident for five more days. However, the judge agreed to keep him in custody pending a police appeal.
On Tuesday morning, Hatib drove his vehicle through a police roadblock in the capital.
He was arrested several hours later in Herzliya after his father warned police that he might carry out a terrorist attack there.
The call to police followed a heated argument between the father and son, during which the younger Hatib purportedly threatened to do something extreme, police said.
Hatib’s attorney claimed that his father called the police following a dispute over money, when the elder Hatib’s demand that his son hand over a portion of his earnings from his work at a supermarket in the capital was rejected.
During an intensive search police set up roadblocks throughout the coastal city, subsequently finding his abandoned car. A few hours later Hatib, who has a criminal record, was apprehended and taken back to Jerusalem.
Although police alleged that he attacked a female officer, made numerous threats, endangered the public, and stole from a gas station, Gabai Richter contended that only the latter claim, a misdemeanor, appeared conclusive.
It remains unclear how long it will take for the police’s appeal to be filed and reviewed by the judge.