Court extends remand for 14 Sharon prison protesters

Suspects allegedly called for more IDF kidnappings, further security prisoner releases in 'illegal' protest outside jail.

Palestinian solidarity with prisoners_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Palestinian solidarity with prisoners_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court agreed to a police request on Friday to extend the remand of 14 people arrested during a rally outside the Sharon Prison on Thursday night.
Police suspect that the eight men and six women arrested called for more IDF soldiers to be kidnapped and for additional Palestinian security prisoners to be released during the demonstration outside the prison.
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Judge Aviva Talmor ruled to extend the detention of the suspects – who include 11 Israeli-Arabs and three Jewish Israelis – for another four days in order to allow police to continue their investigation.
According to police, the demonstrators were bused into the area and began waving Palestinian flags while shouting slogans.
Police and Border Police asked the demonstrators to disperse, after informing them that they were holding an illegal rally.
The police’s warrant officer, Yaniv Hindai, submitted a confidential investigation report to the court and requested that an additional charge of assaulting police officers be added to one suspect, Hamadeh Qasem.
Lawyers for the arrested men and women, who include attorney Orna Cohen, of the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, deny that the demonstrators had called for the abduction of additional IDF soldiers.
The suspects’ attorneys also claimed that the demonstrators had only referred to the release of three Arab-Israeli women prisoners in the Hadarim Prison who had not been included in the Schalit deal.
In extending the suspects’ remand, Talmor noted that police had carried out a “consistent, responsible and professional investigation” and that evidence submitted had raised a reasonable suspicion that each of the 14 people arrested were linked to the alleged offenses.
Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.