Terrorist almost went free due to dispute between IDF and IPS

Terrorists recently arrested have almost been set free because of a dispute between the Israel Prison Service (IPS) and the IDF.

The IPS has refused to receive security detainees held at police stations, but eventually relented when a court threatened to free them.

On Monday, border and civil police arrested an approximately 40-year-old female terrorist resident of East Jerusalem after finding  a large knife in her purse. She intended to use it to carry out an attack.

The woman, who is facing charges of attempted murder, spent the night at a holding cell at the David police station because efforts to transfer her to a prison proved unsuccessful.

During her court hearing, the IPS said it would not receive security detainees because IDF soldiers are no longer assigned to prisons, while the number of security detainees increased in light of the recent wave of violence.

The IPS assumed responsibility for security detainees approximately a decade ago. As a result, the IDF assigned hundreds of soldiers to guard and manage them. But over the years, budget cuts led to less soldiers being assigned to the prisons, and the IPS is struggling to operate its facilities.

The IPS said that as far as security detainees arrested within the Green Line by Police and Border Police, the problem has been resolved, but it cannot take in Palestinians arrested by the IDF in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem.

At the remand extension hearing for the East Jerusalem woman, Magistrate’s Court Judge Joya Skappa-Shapiro said an affidavit by the prison commander “describes a major decision by the Israel Prison Service to not receive adults and minors suspected of committing security crimes with the exception of specific circumstances that do not relate to this case.

“It is difficult to comprehend the logic of this decision,” she remarked.

Judge Skappa-Shapiro criticized the fact the detainee’s rights were violated when she was made to stay the night at a police holding cell, where was not afforded basic conditions like a clean bed or a shower.

“There is a difference between a case in which the defendant’s rights have already been violated, and the situation was then rectified, and a case in which the court orders the extension of a suspect’s remand,” she remarked.

As a result, the judge ordered the Prisoner Service to receive the suspect, or her detention will not be extended and the detainee will be set free.

Attorney Faris Mustafa, who represents the terrorist on behalf of the Public Defender’s Office, claimed that not placing his client in a prison undermines her rights and the legitimacy of the request to extend her remand.

“As long as the IPS has not found a place for her, holding her in her current location is against the law,” he said.

The IPS said in response: “The Prison Service stopped receiving detainees for security crimes who are not being interrogated by the security services. After examining the detainee’s case, she will be transferred to a prison.”

Another military official added, “The National Security Council made recommendations on this matter and the political echelon is expected to discuss them in the coming days.”

The IDF said in response: “The IDF appreciates and values the work of the Israel Prison Service. Naturally, we will not comment on an internal matter between the security services. We emphasize that Israel’s security stands above all disputes between the security services.”