Avi Naim, head of the Beit Aryeh town council and chairman of the local regional security committee, railed Sunday against the arrest of a security official in the community of Adei Ad in Samaria – on the suspicion that he had “stolen” a weapon.
“The arrest of a security officer who puts his life on the line to defend local residents is an evil act on the part of the government,” said Naim. “According to figures discussed in a recent meeting of the Knesset Internal Affairs Committee, MKs said that there were as many as half a million illegal weapons in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas. But it's only when we are talking about a security official in a settlement who is engaged in saving lives that anyone does anything. All this just to generate headlines."
Unfortunately, Naim said, “there is a double standard when it comes to construction or security matters. Arabs are treated much more lightly than Jews.”
Police earlier Sunday arrested nine people in a raid on the Jewish community of Adei Ad – one of them a local resident taking part in a training course for the village's emergency security patrol of the community.
Absurdly, members of the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) and the Judea-Samaria District Police say they arrested him because they found an IDF-issued weapon in his possession, and suspected he may have stolen it. But local security teams throughout Judea and Samaria – who work closely with the IDF – are all legally armed with such weapons.
The trainee explained that he stems from a family of IDF combat soldiers and that the weapon was not stolen; he had legal possession of it with a license for the sake of his training course.
He asked security forces to check with the military security coordinator to verify his story, but they arrested him anyway.
Legal rights organization Honenu intervened and sent copies of the gun license and other forms to the ISA and police soon after his arrest.
While the trainer was eventually, released, Honenu said, he was “dumped” at a location near the E1 police station outside Maale Adumim where there is no public transportation – forcing him to search for a ride by hitchhiking in an area where such activity is not recommended.
“The arrest on suspicion of fighting for an emergency squad, and without testing minimally the evidence before that arrest, is so far-fetched that it constitutes a scandal, and we hope that those responsible will be punished to the full extent of the law," Honenu said in a statement. "We call on the representatives of the public to act to stop this deterioration, which includes the use of administrative detention, widespread arrest of young men without any reasonable suspicion, and now unnecessary harm to the emergency squad members."