Court rejects Federman W. Bank ban

State petitioned for right-wing activist to be barred from West Bank until his assault trial was over.

federman farm 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
federman farm 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Far-right extremist Noam Federman will not be prohibited from entering the West Bank during his trial as the state requested, according to a decision handed down on Monday by the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court. Federman is on trial for attacking policemen on the night of November 26, when police and soldiers evicted him and his family from their illegal home before demolishing it. Judge Shulamit Dotan ruled that Federman did not pose a threat to public safety, as the police had claimed, and therefore they did not have an acceptable reason for keeping him out of the territories. Dotan wrote that the nature of the crimes he allegedly committed according to the indictment were "on the lower end of the scale," since he had not taken the initiative and his purpose had not been to disturb the peace. "The defendant's actions came only after he learned that the police intended to evict him and his family from their home, without delay, and to carry out that same night the demolition orders against his house and other buildings that were in his possession," she wrote. "Surely, this would be a difficult situation for anyone." Dotan also pointed out that after Federman was initially released from jail in the evening of the day he was arrested, he remained without restrictions for 11 days until the state filed the indictment against him and, at the same time, asked the court to issue the order barring him from entering the West Bank. "Thus," Dotan continued, "it is hard to accept the claim regarding the danger posed by the suspect to the safety of any individual or the safety of the public. It is even more difficult to accept the claim that he poses a threat when he is free to move around Judea and Samaria and I did not see any justification in the state's artificial distinction between [the danger he poses] in Judea and Samaria and in Israel." Nevertheless, Dotan said she believed she had seen enough evidence to "establish a reasonable possibility" of proving the charges against Federman in the trial itself.