MINISTER YAHALOM SLAMS LEGAL DISCRIMINATION AGAINST SETTLERS

The following is an English translation of the letter sent by
Transportation Minister Shaul Yahalom (NRP) to Prime Minister
Netanyahu and the Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein following
his examination of the 'secret special law enforcement rules'
applied to residents of Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and in particular,
Hebron's Jewish Community. The translation was prepared by the
Hebron Press Office:

31 March, 1998

To the Prime Minister and the Attorney General:
Shalom.

I have just finished examination of the 'rules for law enforcement
for Israelis from Judea, Samaria and Gaza, which were displayed to
ministries of the Police and Justice, the Commander-in-Chief and
the Police Commissioner in 1995.

These rules raise the most painful questions concerning equality
before the law, available to all people in Israel, which represent
the fundamental rights in our judicial system and democracy. For
the following reasons it is necessary to immediately repeal these
guidelines and to erase this discriminating blot from the annuls of
law enforcement practices in Israel.

1. These rules apply only to Israelis found in these select areas.

2. These rules explicitly determine a different attitude, which is
much more strict, implying and ordering a severe infringement upon
an individual's freedom and honor, which is applied to these
people.

3. The following rules lead to a grave suspicion that the Israeli
residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza were 'targeted' and that law
enforcement agencies related to them with clear discrimination,
utilizing an extremely oppressive attitude, as opposed to the
relationship of these agencies to other segments of the population.

a. The Jewish citizens in this document are labeled 'Jewish
law-breakers' (Hebrew: literally rioters). I suspect that there
isn't any semblance of this expression, which predicts the future,
and relates, to people who are, at the most, suspected of criminal
activities.

b. One of the rules in this 'law enforcement document' determines
that 'there is a necessity to prepare in advance signed warrants to
be used by the forces at the scene for every reason or necessity.'
It is superfluous to note that the signing of an 'open' warrant in
advance is illegal and is a negligent use of authority. Also, the
wording ' to be used for every reason or necessity' shows intent of
unlimited authority, and is illegal.

c. The rules dealing with protest demonstrations are extremely
serious and substantially different from the rules relating to
demonstrations by other segments of the population. This is
illegitimate discrimination.

d. The rule determining the authority by which 'police and soldiers
may detain suspects without arresting them' is ominous. When is it
permitted, what is the reason for the detention, and for how long
may they be detained? What is the detainee suspected of ? What are
the limitations of this detention authority? This is not discussed
anywhere. To the contrary, the reason for the detention is defined
as 'detention in order to interrogate and get from him details,
while being detained, until it is decided what to do with him.'
Again, it is superfluous to note that these rules clearly and
sharply violate the criminal code (law enforcement authority and
detention), which clearly ascertain the limits of detention.

e. These detention guidelines raise very grave questions concerning
the law enforcement agency's discrimination and illegal attempt to
influence the judicial system and to speed up cases relating to
Israeli citizens of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

f. According to these rules, the district attorney's office
maintains the right to transfer decisions usually made by the
police, to the D.A.'s office. Legally this is permissible but the
question that must be addressed is, what are the justifications of
the DA's office and can these reasons be defined as legitimate. A
reading of these rules and all its details raise doubts.

g. It must be determined whether the DA's office appointed a
'special prosecutor' for other criminal activity, responsible for
consolidating and overlooking authority for decisions concerning
halting prosecution of certain cases, indictments, etc. I doubt it.

h. An extremely serious sentence, in my opinion says, "the DA will
assist the various other agencies in their attempt to give priority
to judicial treatment of theses cases in court." I am amazed at
how the DA can give priority to these cases. How was it "attempted
to influence and use the courts"? Is it possible, within the
framework of the court load to suggest to the court postponement of
cases dealing with rape, murder and other crimes, in order to first
conclude cases of these sorts.

i. An additional task the DA's office undertook under these rules
is the initiation of investigations, in conjunction with the police
or the Israel Defense Forces. This is based on the information
revealed by the media. This is very strange, under the
circumstances.

j. These rules determine that the prosecutor's office will draw up
a list of 'recurrent criminals' in an effort to especially improve
law enforcement proceedings against them. ('Especially' is
stressed). This is a literal 'target list' with specific
instructions to activate severe law enforcement procedures against
these criminals.

k. The rules determine that the DA will initiate speedy proceedings
at the time of their violation. This is an additional proof of
discrimination (ben dam l'dam - ben din l'din.).

I see the need to stress that even those who thought necessary to
activate and end criminal activities which were liable to aggravate
the situation in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, should remember,
especially those holding law enforcement responsibility, that this
may not be done at the expense of people's basic human rights.

I again call for the immediate annulment these rules.

Shaul Yahalom
Minister of Transportation
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