YERUSHALAYIM - Yerushalayim Magistrate Court Judge Elisheva Chen ordered the police to pay 2,250 shekels ($585) on Sunday in compensation to Itayel Zuaretz, a resident of Adei Ad in Binyamin and father of five, for wrongful arrest.
The arrest took place six months ago, when Zuaretz, who had become subject to various restrictions despite never having gone to trial or having any evidence presented against him, was arrested in Afula while visiting with relatives.
The police came to his relative’s house and told Zuaretz a false story, saying that his car was involved in a traffic accident. They persuaded him to leave the house to examine the damage to his car, and arrested him as soon as he stepped outside for violating the restrictions placed upon him, despite his protests that there was no restriction on his going to Afula, which is in the Galil, not in Yehuda and Shomron.
A detective named Shai Araz threatened that if Zuaretz refused to hand his baby daughter to his wife he would “drop you and the baby on the street.”
Zuaretz’s young son burst into tears as he was taken into custody in front of his family. He was driven to the city of Modiin, where the police received a phone call, apparently informing them that the arrest was a mistake. They promptly drove Zuaretz back to Afula, where was dropped off without apology.
Zuaretz contacted the Honenu legal organization. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yaddo helped him file a civil suit against the police for wrongful arrest.
During the hearing, the police testified that Zuaretz was the subject of an investigation into nationally motivated crimes. However, it was revealed that the police had not checked to see whether the restrictions on Zuaretz applied to traveling to Afula before going to arrest him.
Attorney Menashe Yaddo said of the ruling: “The negligent lack of coordination between the police and the central command resulted in the wrongful arrest of my client in front of three of his children using force. These things were discovered quickly in court. We hope that the police will learn the [appropriate] lessons and that the body responsible for maintaining the law will abide by the rules and regulations.”