Oct 05, 2022
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Defense minister and head of the ‘New Right’ party Naftali Bennett has signed an executive order to imprison a Jewish teenager without charges or probable cause.  19-year old Elia Ben David was taken by the Shabak (General Security Services) to administrative detention. Administrative detention is a decree from the era of the British mandate that gives Israel’s secret police the right to imprison anyone they feel like at any time. However, in order to do so, they need the approval of the defense minister which they received.

Eliya Ben-David (courtesy: Honenu)

Ben David is a resident of Nof Galil and his father is a prominent rabbi in that community.

The most bizarre part of the story is that the Shabak requested to re-arrest Ben David just minutes after a district court ordered him to be freed on all charges. When he was originally arrested, the Shabak denied him basic rights including the right to an attorney. However, a judge realized that there were no grounds for his arrest in the first place and subsequently freed him. But just minutes following his release, the Shabak used the administrative order to re-arrest him with Bennett’s willing approval.

Politicians throughout Israel have expressed their outrage at Bennett, who champions himself as a right-wing leader following the order. Zehut party leader Moshe Feiglin accusing him of “sacrificing children to Molech.” Feiglin also called Bennett “everything wrong with Israel’s current leadership” adding that he has “turned the residents of the south into the hoods of the red alert sirens.”

Meanwhile, head of Otzma Yehudi party, Itamar Ben Gvir, mocked Bennett’s recent decision to use restraining orders on left-wing activists saying that “for now, he is using it on right-wing activists.” Ben Gvir added that Bennett made his decision despite “the fact that the judge criticized the reason for the arrest”