Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Natural Born Zionists 2

"Slonim has been under the gaze of the Shin Bet since at least 2010, court documents indicate. He was arrested on December 30, 2010, at the entrance to the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba and found in possession of a knife, tools for housebreaking and a spray can. He had this equipment, police told the court, 'for the purpose of committing a crime or causing a disturbance against Palestinians.' In March 2011 he was arrested again, this time for throwing stones. Court documents indicate he was held for interrogation for 8 days. On another occasion he was accused of attacking a police officer. By March 2015, after months of suspicion over his involvement in the Khirbet Abu Falah attack, he was given an 'administrative ban' by the District Court prohibiting him from entering Jerusalem or the West Bank, his lawyer says.

"When he was arrested in early August, Slonim's parents told Israeli media their son was with them on a family holiday in the north of the country at the time of the Duma attack. For the last four months the criminal lawyer Aharon Rose has represented Slonim, his fees paid not by the young man's parents but by the right-wing legal centre Honenu, which assists settlers and soldiers who fall foul of the law. 'In August 2015... after the burning of the house in Duma in which 3 people from the same family died, the intelligence agencies decided to take the gloves off,' Rose says in his office in Tel Aviv. He is referring to the extraordinary decision by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet to approve the use of administrative detention - imprisonment without charge - for Israeli citizens. Israel already holds hundreds of Palestinians in administrative detention, despite trenchant criticism from local and international rights groups. Slonim is now 4 months into a 6-month stint in prison. Under administrative detention inmates are not charged, nor are they or their lawyers given an opportunity to respond to the allegations against them. In September, Yaalon said security services knew who had carried out the attack on the Dawabshe family but could not charge them due to a lack of evidence and fear of compromising intelligence sources.

"Both Rose and Slonim's parents, Gila and Zeev Slonim, have spoken out repeatedly against the use of administrative detention. 'Evyatar was not involved in any violent incident whatsoever, not at all and not specifically in Duma,' Rose says. Slonim breached the travel ban imposed on him once, Rose admits, to take part in a wedding at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. 'Security at the court say they knew what he was doing every second of every day... so they must also know he did not participate in any violence at that time,' Rose adds. Slonim has received a visit from Australian consular officials while in prison, Rose confirms. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade would not comment on Slonim's case, nor would the Australian embassy in Tel Aviv. Fairfax Media made contact with his parents, who moved to Israel from Melbourne in 1989 and now live in the settlement of Tzofim. We were directed to a family spokesman who explained that the gag order placed on the case prevented the Slonims from commenting. Instead, a family member who did not want to be identified answered emailed questions via the spokesman."

Next post: Part 3

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