Israeli suspect in fatal stabbing of Palestinian released to house arrest

Attorney says man’s actions were a “classic case of self-defense.”

By World Israel News Staff

An Israeli man held by police for nearly two weeks and interrogated by the Shin Bet intelligence agency about the fatal stabbing of a Palestinian man has been freed to house arrest by a local court.

The man, whose name has not been released for publication, was involved in a late June brawl between Israelis and Palestinians on a hilltop near Ariel which involved some 40 people.

“A few minutes ago, the court ordered the release of the murder suspect,” Adi Keidar, the man’s attorney, told Hebrew language media.

“We hope this is the beginning of the end of this whole case, as the entire thing was an incident started by Arab rioters who turned out to be terrorists, and later the suspect and others were forced to defend themselves.”

Keidar, who works for the Honenu NGO which often defends Jewish Israelis facing legal consequences after conflicts with Palestinians, said that the man’s actions were “a classic case of self-defense.”

During the clash, the Israeli man is believed to have stabbed and killed Ali Hassan Harb, 28, whom the Hamas terror group later claimed was a member of their organization.

He was arrested and reportedly held without access to legal counsel while the Shin Bet investigated the incident, a move which sparked concern from right-wing MKs including Yamina renegade Idit Silman and Religious Zionism MK Simcha Rothman.

In late June, hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the Ariel police station and called upon the authorities to allow the man legal counsel, Kan reported.

Responding to news of the suspect’s release to house arrest, Samaria Regional Council chair Yossi Dagan said the move was long overdue.

“The citizen should not have been arrested in the first place and certainly not subject to Shin Bet interrogation under conditions meant for terrorists,” Dagan said in a statement..

“His release…is a first step in redressing the injustice to a man who protected his life and the lives of nearly 20 children who were attacked by a gang of violent terrorists. This unnecessary case should be closed today.”