Following the opening of a PID investigation against the Nazareth police station Commander, Adalah demands his immediate suspension

The investigation was opened following Adalah's complaints against the illegal use of force, including torture, by the station's police officers against Palestinian detainees, citizens of Israel, during the May 2021 events. Adalah wrote to the Police Investigation Department (PID) (“Mahash”) and demanded that all detainees who were at the station on the days when the incidents took place be summoned to give testimonies, and not just the complainants whose affidavits were attached to the complaints.

On 12 August 2021, Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel wrote to the Police Commissioner, Major General Yaakov Shabtai, demanding that he immediately suspend Eli Silok, the Commander of the Nazareth police station, known as the "Moscobia". Adalah filed a complaint with Police Investigation Department (PID) (or “Mahash”) on 7 June 2021, following extensive evidence of illegal practices committed by police officers at the station during the May 2021 events. These practices include the extreme use of violence and torture, as well as the illegal prohibition on meetings with lawyers, in addition to other violations of the detainees’ rights. On 19 July 2021, PID informed Adalah that it had opened an investigation following the complaint.


CLICK HERE to read more about Adalah’s complaint

CLICK HERE to read Adalah’s complaint to PID [HEBREW]

CLICK HERE to read the PID decision to open an investigation [Hebrew]


Adalah's new demand of the Commissioner comes after the Minister of Internal Security, Omar Bar-Lev, in response to a question by Member of Knesset Aida Toma Suleiman (Hadash/ Joint List) about the complaint submitted by Adalah to the PID, informed that a criminal investigation had been opened against the commander of the Nazareth station and other police officers.


CLICK HERE to read MK Touma Sulieiman’s questions, 30 June 2021 [Hebrew]

Click HERE to read Minister Bar-Lev’s response, 9 August 2021 [Hebrew]


In the current letter to the Police Commissioner, Adalah Attorney Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi argued that he was required to exercise his authority to suspend the station commander until the end of the investigation in his case. This letter comes after the initial response by the Commissioner to Adalah’s complaint, in which he stated that the police will not use administrative measures until a decision is made by PID on whether or not to initiate criminal proceedings.


CLICK HERE to read the Police Commissioner’s initial response, 9 June 2021 [Hebrew]

CLICK HERE to read Adalah’s letter to the Comissioner, 12 August 2021 [Hebrew]


In addition, after two detainees whose affidavits were attached to Adalah’s complaint to the PID appeared in the station this week as part of the investigation, Adalah demanded that the PID should not only investigate the direct complainants. These affidavits, documenting the systematic nature of the violence used against the detainees, do not cover the extent of the offenses, and it is necessary to summon all the detainees to testify about the additional offenses committed by the station's police officers at the time. Therefore, Adalah requested that PID hear testimonies from other detainees, and in particular, those who required medical treatment, those who were brought to extension of detention hearings in the Nazareth Magistrates’ Court, and those who had marks of violence on their faces and bodies, to testify about what took place at the station.


CLICK HERE to read Adalah’s letter to the PID, 12 August 2021 [Hebrew]



Adalah Attorney Nareman Shehadeh-Zoabi added:

"Every additional day that the Commander of the Nazareth police station continues to serve in his position, while he and his subordinates are suspected of serious criminal acts, is a sign of the lack of seriousness and severity that the police see in this investigation. There is no reason for PID officials to seriously expect that anyone will have any confidence in the investigation, if all of the involved police officers, starting with the Commander, are not immediately suspended, and if PID does not make an effort to collect evidence from anyone who may help investigate the horrific events at the station in May 2021."



Related Press Release

What happened in the 'torture room' at Israel's police station in Nazareth? 7 June 2021





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