On January 1, the OC of Home Front Command imposed rare administrative detention orders on six Al-Issawiya residents and issued warning notices to three others, invoking British Mandate-era emergency regulations. Per the administrative detention orders, the six residents are subject to nighttime house arrest from 20:00 to 06:00, ranging from a period of two-four months. Administrative detention, which involves holding individuals indefinitely without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence for apparent security reasons, is a military measure employed extensively in the West Bank, but extremely rare in East Jerusalem, which is under full Israeli sovereignty.
According to the minimal information released, the orders were imposed on the six residents based on alleged accusations of throwing stones and/or Molotov cocktails - a seemingly disproportionate measure considering the allegations and the rare imposition of such a procedure on East Jerusalem residents.
The issuance of these orders, however, reflects the drastic and excessive measures employed within the Al-Issawiya neighborhood, which has been the target of a concerted aggressive police campaign for over six months with no reasonable cause.
On the night of January 2, the six residents refused to comply with the administrative detention orders and were subsequently arrested and brought before a judge at the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on the morning of January 3. While the police requested an extension to the arrests, the judge rejected the request and instead ordered the individuals' release due to police failure to send a representative to the hearing. The administration detention orders, however, are still in effect.
Ten additional residents were detained over the weekend, which has become a routine occurrence in the neighborhood. An estimated 600 individuals have been arrested since June, many of them minors, while only a few formally indicted and most released within 24 hours.
It should be noted that over the past few weeks, the Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Erdan, has been holding consultations concerning the appointment of a new Israel Police Commissioner. One of the candidates is the Jerusalem District Police Chief, Doron Yedid, who has been the chief architect and driving force behind the endless hostile police campaign in Al-Issawiya.