Palestinian man let go by court, police accused of assault

Israeli judge releases Palestinian after home raid, orders investigation into police conduct
3 min read
10 August, 2021
Police arrested 38-year-old Mahmoud Ibrahim for suspected car theft with no warrant and showed up to court with no proof of his alleged crime.
Mahmoud Ibrahim's situation will be probed after allegations he was assaulted by police [Getty-file photo]

A Palestinian man has been released from custody by an Israeli court as police reportedly came to court bearing no proof of his alleged theft of a car.

Without an arrest warrant, Israeli police accompanied by troops stormed into the Ramallah governorate home of Mahmoud Ibrahim while he and his wife slept, Haaretz reported on Monday.

Police said that Ibrahim, 38, had taken a vehicle from close to the Israeli city of Modiin.

Judge Tal Aner ordered that Ibrahim's file be sent to the part of the Ministry of Justice that looks into wrongdoing by police given suggestions he was assaulted as he was taken in.

Aner took the decision because Ibrahim had visible injuries, the Israeli daily reported.

Ibrahim claimed his locked door was "broke[n] down" without so much as a knock, and that he and his wife had been sleeping in their room at the time. He also alleged he was attacked and received head and hand wounds.

The 38-year-old, said his children were woken up by what happened.

"[Israeli security] told them to put their hands up and lie on the floor," Ibrahim said of the incident.

"These are 10-year-old kids, you understand?"

He added that he wished he had cameras to record what happened.

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The day after the raid, police requested the Rishon Letzion Magistrates' Court allow the Palestinian to be kept in custody for longer, claiming he was accused of issuing threats, interfering with an officer during their work, and conspiracy to carry out a crime.

However, there was no reference to him having stolen a vehicle in this petition, made at a remand hearing, something the Israeli police's "representative" admitted.

They alleged Ibrahim threatened the officer who detained him, saying: "You'll pay for this. I'll make sure to come to your house. I'll find you."

However, the Palestinian said when he reached the police building he requested the Ministry of Justice's team that looks into wrongdoing by police be brought in.

"There's no Mahash here", Ibrahim said he was informed, building staff using the common Hebrew name for this body.

Police gave no adequate reasoning for raiding his home with no warrant, nor did they give any clarification regarding the manner of the arrest and search, according to Judge Aner.

The police side asserted that the allegations surrounding the Palestinian "weren't new", claiming Ibrahim was informed in the Modiin police building he was taken to that warrants were not required in these circumstances.

The judge said the interference and threats he was accused of were "fairly low level", ruling he is to be let go, while also determining that Mahash should be involved.

Previous offences are what Ibrahim thinks is behind this latest episode.

He has been found guilty of offences related to property before and has spent time in jail

Ibrahim will be formally charged with a new property-related crime in the near future, police claimed.

A release issued by the Israeli police asserted that Ibrahim was arrested legally.

The arrest related to a probe into both the alleged car theft and the accusations of using threats levelled against him in the course of his detention, the police said.

Regarding the claims violence was used against Ibrahim, the authorities added that the case files were provided for "the unit that investigates officers" to inspect, seemingly referring to the Mahash.