14 Hilles men held for questioning as 87 are sent to Jericho

The army has detained for questioning 14 members of the Hilles clan who fled across across the Gaza border after being attacked by Hamas forces on Saturday, the state informed the High Court of Justice on Monday evening. The information was provided by Osnat Mandel, head of the High Court Petitions Section of the State Attorney's Office, in response to a petition by two former Kach members, Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir. Marzel and Ben-Gvir asked the court to order the army to detain 30 members of the clan whom they accused of conducting terrorist activities against Israel. But Mandel said only 14 of the Palestinians were suspected of acting against the State. "Regarding 14 of those who fled, security forces found negative security information justifying their detention for investigation," Mandel informed the court. Mandel said that by the time the state had received a copy of the petition, 87 of the Palestinians had already been sent to Jericho. The Jerusalem Post reported that another 23 had been wounded during the clashes with Hamas and were in Israeli hospitals. Aside from the 14 in detention, the rest had returned to the Gaza Strip, some of them at the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The state told the High Court that the petitioners had not provided any information to prove their claim that 30 of the clan had conducted terrorist activities against Israel. Furthermore, it asked the court to reject the petition on the grounds that the decision as to what to do with the Palestinians was a diplomatic one which only the government was authorized to make. Finally, it said the petition was impractical since only a small number of the Palestinians remained on Israeli soil.