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  • ACRI

Investigate Minister Ben Gvir for Incitement and Contempt of Court

Following the serious remarks by Itamar Ben Gvir against Judge Iyad Taha, a judge at the Acre Magistrate's Court, on 26.10.2023, we appealed (Hebrew) to the Attorney General and the State Prosecutor, demanding an investigation into the Minister for incitement and contempt of court.

Judge Taha ruled on the extension of the detention of an Arab citizen suspected of expression-related offenses due to social media publications. The judge did not hold back criticism of the content published, yet found no grounds in the evidence to extend her detention. He determined that the suspect would remain in full house arrest, would be banned from social networks of any kind, and imposed additional release conditions. The Minister referred to the judge's decision, stating, "This is what enemies look like from within."

In our appeal, Attorney Gil Gan-Mor, Director of Civil and Social Rights Unit, emphasized the court's role in professionally examining the allegations and the necessity for detention, avoiding external pressures and public opinion. The Minister's public statements against the judge due to a judicial decision not to his liking were intended to provoke and create terror for the judge, conveying a warning message to all judges and creating an atmosphere where judges cannot rule professionally and independently. These actions were also meant to further divide Arab society.

On October 31, 2023 we appealed (Hebrew) once more following another incident in which Ben Gvir referred to an Arab judge as an 'enemy from within' under similar circumstances. We urged immediate and resolute action, calling for an immediate investigation against the minister.

On February 18, 2024, after examining the content and context of the statements, the Office of the Deputy State Attorney responded (Hebrew). The response stated that there was not reasonable suspicion that an offense had been committed that justified opening a criminal investigation.


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