Jews banned from hiking near Israeli Arab villages?

June 10, 2016  

A group of hikers was detained by police Friday morning during a trip between Moshav Mei Ami and the Arab town of Umm El-Fahm. The hikers were released Friday afternoon.

Members of the group say they were detained for some four hours before being released. Police, they said, made no accusations and freed them with no terms or requirements.

According to the hikers, some 20 minutes after they embarked from Moshav Mei Ami a police unit arrived. Officers told the young men they were being detained and transported them to a local police station.

Police refused to explain the basis of the detention and confiscated their cellular phones. The hikers were photographed and two members of the group separated for questioning. They were told that while they were not suspected of any wrongdoing, the police wished to know where their destination was.

Before the hikers were freed they were told that it was forbidden to approach Arab villages, though the officers declined to explain the reasoning of or legal basis for the prohibition.    

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