Two Released in Bat Ayin ‘Price Tag’ Case

May 3, 2015  

One adult and one minor from the Samaria community Bat Ayin were cleared for release on Friday, after Supreme Court Justice Daphne Barak-Erez accepted an appeal over their arrests. 

The three defendants include two 16-17 year-old boys from the community and a 19 year-old named as David Or Shahar. 

One of the youths is charged with a count of obstruction of justice, and is accused of having been in contact with Elad Sela, the IDF soldier accused of revealing state and military secrets three weeks ago. Sela allegedly passed to the youth information about upcoming arrests of community members, and the youth warned others. 

According to the indictment, the three are accused in several cases of racially-motivated attacks, including charges of attacking a Palestinian Arab worker as well as IDF officers who attempted to break up the altercation. 

The three are also accused of throwing rocks at Arab vehicles outside Bat Ayin, as well as cutting down olive trees and tagging the orchard with the phrase “Arab thieves and Price Tag.” The damage is estimated to amount to about 30,000 shekels ($7,698). 

Justice Barak-Erez ruled that Or-Shahar will remain in custody until being processed in the probation system; the minor, however, will be released to house arrest outside Judea and Samaria and will be closely monitored. 

“This is an extreme decision which does not comply with all existing case law and violates a person’s fundamental rights in particular,” said Attorney Chai Bar, who represents Or-Shahar on behalf of legal rights organization Honenu, regarding the decision to keep the adult in police custody. “We are studying the decision and will consider bringing the matter for re-examination by an expanded panel of the Supreme Court.”

Honenu also criticized the fact that the judge’s ruling was made more than 24 hours after the hearing, and very close to Shabbat. 

Only after a concerted effort from the Honenu legal team was the actual release from detention completed, and after a round of paperwork and permits. 

“The Supreme Court decision was made near the start of the Sabbath, and only thanks to the extraordinary efforts from Honenu was the minor released,” Attorney Aharon Rosa, the minor’s Honenu lawyer, added. 

“After studying the court’s decision, I applaud the decision to release him, as the law and case law demanded.”

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