Police arrested at least two demonstrators in Jerusalem on Sunday evening as hundreds protested in the capital against the continued detainment of a settler suspected of killing a Palestinian teenager in a West Bank clash last week.
Several demonstrators briefly blocked entrance into the city from Highway 1, and “a disturbance began,” according to police, which instructed drivers to find alternate routes into the capital.
Police were on the scene to disperse the protesters.
At the demonstration, several protesters were seen atop a bus caught in traffic near the Chords Bridge at the entrance to the city. In another brief clip from the protest, a police officer is seen appearing to hit or punch a demonstrator in the back.
Heavy traffic was reported on Route 16, a relatively new entrance to Jerusalem from the Givat Shaul neighborhood in the west.
According to Ynet, some 200 people protested at the event organized by a number of right-wing and far-right organizations, such as Im Tirzu and Honenu, a legal aid organization.
מפגינים בירושלים עלו על גג של אוטובוס עם שלטי מחאה נגד מעצרו של יחיאל אינדור לאחר שחרורו מבית החולים.
אבל המפגינים נגד ההפיכה המשטרית אנרכיסטים. pic.twitter.com/WdmNYvDXxZ
— listein (@Lihistein) August 13, 2023
In a promotional ad for the protest, they called Yehiel Indore — who is suspected of shooting dead 19-year-old Qusai Jamal Matan in a clash on August 4 in the Palestinian village of Burqa — a “hero,” claimed he was protecting others, and demanded his release.
Indore was ordered by a judge on Friday to remain in custody until at least next week after law enforcement requested a 10-day extension, claiming it had significant evidence supporting their case.
— החדשות – N12 (@N12News) August 13, 2023
Police minister Itamar Ben Gvir, the far-right leader of Otzma Yehudit who holds the national security portfolio, wrote a letter to the Israel Prison Service (IPS) on Sunday asking for a response to his query after Indore and if the suspect’s rights were being upheld.
Ben Gvir cited “many inquiries that came to my office today” and said that Indore was transferred to the custody of the Israel Prison Service, “at the direction of the Shin Bet.”
“I would like to receive a response from the Israel Prison Service on the matters, including on whether the detainee’s rights according to the law are preserved, and whether the [medical] professionals in the IPS examined the need to order his hospitalization” at an IPS facility for a head wound Indore sustained in the clash.
Honenu said Indore was seriously hurt when he was struck in the head by a rock thrown at him during the incident, and that he had undergone head surgery and was suffering from a fractured skull and intracerebral hemorrhage.
Indore was not present at the hearing Friday, as he remains under police guard at a Jerusalem hospital. The district court ruled Tuesday that family members be allowed to visit him at the hospital, which they were previously barred from doing due to his arrest — although two coalition MKs were allowed to do so, sparking criticism.
Ben Gvir, who made a career defending Jewish terror suspects before entering politics, previously said Indore should be awarded a medal of honor and demanded police “expedite the investigation.”
The remarks prompted warnings from former police officials that Ben Gvir — a longtime settlement activist with a history of incitement — is attempting to intervene in the investigation.
At the remand hearing on Friday, police revealed they no longer suspect a racial motive for Indore’s actions but still suspect him of killing Matan with intent or indifference, participating in a riot, conspiracy to commit a crime and obstruction of justice. Indore has claimed he fired his gun in self-defense.
Police claimed there was a “significant development” in the investigation that strengthened their case against Indore.
Police said Indore confessed during questioning he fired his gun during the incident, but denied aiming forward and claimed he shot into the air.
Police added that for most of the investigation, Indore has maintained his right to remain silent.
Judge Zion Sahrai said in his ruling that while the evidence against Indore was indeed bolstered, his claim of self-defense could not be ruled out.
“It is premature to reach concrete conclusions regarding the circumstances of the incident, and noting the length of time the suspect is in custody, one should strive to complete the investigation,” he said.
The high-profile case has garnered international attention, as US-led efforts to calm Israeli-Palestinian tensions have run up against what observers say are rising cases of settler-perpetrated violence against Palestinians, fanned by far-right rhetoric from government politicians.
Another Israeli suspect, Elisha Yered, was arrested on suspicion of being involved and obstructing the police investigation but was released to house arrest Wednesday. Law enforcement appealed on Thursday to have Yered rearrested, but the motion was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Under the terms of his release, Yered — a former spokesman for Otzma Yehudit MK Limor Har Son-Melech — is being held under house arrest at his uncle’s home. He is prohibited from holding phone conversations and is permitted to leave the premises only to attend police questioning or court hearings.
A West Bank military court on Thursday ordered the release of four Palestinians arrested over the incident, with the judge saying there was “no reasonable suspicion” against them. A fifth suspect was released earlier in the week.
Ben Gvir had denied Arab MK Ahmad Tibi permission to visit the Palestinians arrested in connection with the case, prompting the latter to accuse the government of blatant discrimination.