update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Burqa killing suspect released to house arrest

Elisha Yered was released while Yehiel Indore will remain in custody after a police appeal.

Elisha Yered arrives for a hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, Aug. 9, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
Elisha Yered arrives for a hearing at the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, Aug. 9, 2023. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

Elisha Yered, a suspect in the killing of a Palestinian in Samaria on Aug. 4, was released to house arrest on Wednesday evening while the other suspect, Yehiel Indore, was ordered to remain in custody following a police appeal.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled on Wednesday afternoon that both suspects should be released to house arrest. However, the police appealed both decisions and the Jerusalem District Court ordered Indore to remain in custody while upholding Yered’s release.

On Saturday night, the court had extended their remand in custody by five days. On Tuesday, the district court accepted their appeal asking that their remand be shortened in light of new information.

But prosecutors asked the Supreme Court to reverse the district court’s decision, and on Wednesday morning, the court ordered that Yered remain in custody (Indore is hospitalized) until the previously scheduled magistrate’s court hearing that afternoon, when he was sent to house arrest.

Police are continuing to question the suspects regarding their involvement in the death of 19-year-old Palestinian Kosei Ma’atan during violent confrontations near the town of Burqa on Aug. 4.

Before the hearing, police added suspicion of arson on a nationalist basis to the charges against Yered and Indore and requested that their detention be extended by 12 days.

The police also revealed that the Palestinian Authority handed over the findings of Ma’atan’s autopsy.

Indore, 28, underwent surgery for a severe head wound sustained during the confrontation that led to the fatal shooting.

He was arrested along with Yered, 22, who was accused of interfering with a police investigation by taking Indore’s gun back to his home following the shooting.

Vered will be under house arrest at his uncle’s home, where he is prohibited from using the phone. He is allowed to leave the premises only for police questioning or court dates.

Indore remains under police guard in a Jerusalem hospital. The district court ruled Tuesday that his family will be allowed to visit.

On Aug. 4, hundreds of Arabs from Burqa confronted a Jewish shepherd grazing his flock near the village.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement following the incident that, “Verbal confrontations ensued which were followed by the hurling of rocks by both sides, and the firing of fireworks by Palestinians.

“During the confrontation, Israeli civilians fired at the Palestinians. As a result of the confrontation, a Palestinian was killed, four others were injured, and a Palestinian vehicle was found burned. Several Israeli civilians were injured by rocks.”

According to Indore’s attorney, Nati Rom, dozens of Jews arrived at the scene to protect the shepherd. Indore fired a warning shot but was then surrounded, and only shot to kill after he was struck in the head by a rock.

“Anywhere else in Israel this event would have been defined as foiling an attack,” Rom said.

Five Palestinians were arrested on Monday for suspected involvement in the clashes, and additional arrests are expected.

“The arrest of the Palestinians marks, it seems, a change of circumstances in the case, and takes on additional strength in light of the version Indore gave during his investigation at the hospital,” said Rom. “The picture of the evidence has changed and tipped the scale towards their release.”

The case has drawn sharply different reactions, with opposition politicians and left-wing activist groups quick to accuse the Jewish suspects of murder.

Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli called for the deportation of the family of the “terrorist settler” on Sunday, doubling down the next day after receiving pushback for her remarks from pro-settlement groups and coalition members.

“It turns out that there are those who don’t like the fact that I said that the Netanyahu coalition is a party of terrorism supporters. So I’ll take this opportunity to say it clearly one more time,” Michaeli tweeted on Monday.

Benny Gantz, head of the opposition National Unity faction, spoke on Sunday of the development of a “dangerous Jewish nationalist terrorism.”

Israel Gantz, chairman of the Binyamin Regional Council, criticized the rush to judgment.

“The hatred among elements of the extreme left is amazing. Even a Jew who is hospitalized in serious condition with a deep head wound does not make them stop for a moment and think that he probably acted in self-defense, to save his life,” he said.

“They give automatic backing to the terrorism that threatens us every day on the roads, in the settlements and everywhere,” he said.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, head of Otzma Yehudit, tweeted on Sunday, “The Israeli media (again) got confused: a Jew who defends himself and others against … Palestinians is not a murder suspect but a hero who will receive my full support.

“There may be some who are confused about which side they are on— I’m not confused. Always on the side of my people, certainly when the danger of death hovers over the head of a Jew who is required to respond with determination and heroism,” he said.

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