Far-Left Anarchist to Remain in Custody Until Next Week

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Palestinian youth throws a stone at an Israeli border guard during clashes between hundreds of youths and Israeli security in the Arab village of Bilin near Ramallah. (Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Far-left radical anarchist Yonatan Pollak will remain in custody until next Wednesday – at his own request, Ha’aretz reported Thursday. According to the report, the court had been prepared to release him, but telling the court that he did not recognize the authority of the court to jail him, he requested that he be held indefinitely in custody, as a “political prisoner.” He has also refused to post a NIS 500,000 bond the court set to release him. The court agreed to keep him in jail until next Wednesday, the report said.

Pollak was arrested Monday at the offices of Ha’aretz, which has been accused of aiding him in evading police – a charge the newspaper vehemently denies. Pollak was employed intermittently as a graphic artist at the newspaper, and police have raided its offices several times to arrest Pollak, who was wanted on charges of abetting Arab rioters to violate the public order in Shomron.

Acting on a tip, police finally cornered him at the newspaper’s offices on Monday. Immediately after his arrest, right-wing group Ad Kan filed several complaints about him with police, saying they had footage showing him inciting Arabs to riot and attack Israeli civilians, police, and soldiers in no fewer than 18 incidents. In an op-ed on Monday in Ha’aretz, Pollak wrote that Israelis “need to cross the line and violate the law. We need to join the children of the rocks and the firebombs, and follow them.” Ad Kan filed a complaint with police on that article as well, saying that Pollak was inciting to violence.

Gilad Ach, head of Ad Kan, said that “for 15 years, the anarchist group led by Pollak against the security fence has led violent riots and attacks against IDF soldiers, and has been ensured freedom of action and speech, despite the many injuries soldiers have suffered in these riots. At last, a historic injustice has been corrected, with his arrest. We hope that from now on the legal system will protect soldiers and back them up, preventing the anarchists from attacking them.”