Tuvia Lerner 0

The Abandonment of Security Response Teams

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1. On Feb. 2, 2004, the security chief of Sdei Bar, Baruch Feldbaum, summoned the security response team of the neighboring community of Maalei Rehavam, to help to evict scores of Arabs from the village of Tekoa who infiltrated the Jewish ranch, illegally erected a tent and endangered the youngsters on the site. 2. Dan and Yitzhak Halamish responded immediately, equipped with weapons from the Israeli military. The Arabs, armed with sticks and stones, attacked, and the security chief, in a protective measure, fired in the air. The Arabs then withdrew from the ranch. Later, the Arabs submitted a complaint to Israeli police on charges of assault and shooting. The police investigation was amateurish and scandalous and they destroyed all evidence that would prove the innocence of the security response team. 3. As a result, the members of the security response team were convicted in court. Feldbaum, the security chief, was sentenced to nine months in prison, later reduced to six months of community service because of personal reasons. Dan and Yitzhak Halamish were sentenced to eight and seven months in prison, respectively. 4. Those responsible for the security response team did not bother to defend them; rather abandoned them to their fate. This marks a grave injustice and a dangerous precedence. From now on, security response teams throughout the country that they don't have any backing and they must worry about themselves in any encounter with the Arab enemy. 5. We demand the immediate annulment of judicial proceedings against Dan and Yitzhak Halamish and the introduction of regulations to protect security response team personnel in the state of Israel who become involved in a security incident.

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