Police are investigating an incident in which activists from the far political left attempted to smuggle a dangerous rapist into a small Israeli community on the pretext that he was an innocent Arab farmer. They will also investigate a subsequent clash in which leftists say they were assaulted by residents and police. The incident in question took place on Rosh Hashanah, over two weeks ago. Members of the extremist “Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity” group tried to enter the Jewish village of Anatot next to Jerusalem without authorization, in order to bring in Yassin Rafai.
The group claimed that Rafai, an Arab resident of Jerusalem, was a farmer whose lands were stolen from him to create Anatot. However, in truth, Rafai is a serial sex offender who in the past has been sentenced to a total of 17 years in jail for various offenses, including rape.
He has also faced charges for a variety of offenses against Jews in Anatot, including harassment, vandalism, theft, and arson.
Activists blocked the entrance to Anatot in an attempt to force locals to allow Rafai in. A clash broke out. Members of the far-left groups Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity, Taayoush and Yesh Din subsequently accused police of assault, and demanded that the clash be investigated – and that the investigation be conducted by the Justice Department’s Department for Investigating Police, not by police themselves.
On Sunday prosecutors rejected the request, stating that the investigation will remain in police hands. While police have been accused of involvement in the clash in question, most of those involved were civilians, making the Israel Police responsible for investigation, explained Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein's office.
The Jewish residents of Anatot welcomed the decision, and expressed hope that the police investigation will lead to improved safety in their community.
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