Military Judge Major Menahem Liberman of the Salem Military Court, sanctioned the extension of the arrest of two protesters from the village of Kufer Qaddoum near Nablus. The two, Ahmad and Morad Shtawi, were detained last Friday after Israeli soldiers sicced an army dog at the Kufer Qaddoum protesters.
Ahmad Shtawi, whose arrest was extended by six days, was detained after the dog bit and wounded him and is now suspected of stone-throwing. Morad Shtawi, whose arrest was extended by 24 hours, was arrested while trying to help Ahmad and pleading with the soldiers to have the dog release its hold of the arm. He is suspected of assault and stone-throwing.
A video of the incident shows that the dog would not release its hold of the bleeding arm for long minutes, even as its handler arrived at the scene and tried to order it to do so. It also shows Morad's unjustified arrest. Despite having seen the video, the soldier-judge decided to deny the defense's motion to release the two. In his decision, Maj Liberman wrote, "This court, especially during a remand hearing, is not the body fit to inspect such claims [of excessive violence].
In regards to Morad Shtawi, “There is no evidence connecting Morad to acts of stone-throwing, and furthermore, the evidence incriminating him of assault are not strong”, the judge noted. “Despite a police report alleging that Morad assaulted soldiers, the video I have watched shows he tries to protect his nephew [Ahmad]”, the judge continued. Despite having asserted these notions, the judge decided to order Morad continue be remanded in custody until tomorrow.
Morad Shtawi is a member of the Kufer Qaddoum Popular Committee and a well known grassroots organizer.