Police waiting with sledge hammers for orders to break into Lebovitch home in Hevron

Last week Hebron police attempted to forcibly enter the Lebovitch home in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, seeking out, among others, 14 year old Akiva Lebovitch. On Friday the Lebovitch family struck a deal with the police, agreeing that Akiva would be interrogated by a ‘child investigator’ at the offices of the Kiryat Arba Social Welfare Department at 8:00 this morning. At 8:00 Akiva and his mother arrived at the office, but when the police had still not arrived by 8:30, Mrs. Hannah Shvill, director of the department called them to ask the reason for their delay. The police response: “We have decided not to kowtow to you – why should we do what you want – we have orders from above.”

A short time later the police arrived at the office and attempted to arrest the 14 year old, before any questioning began. Akiva’s mother, pushed aside by one of the police, pulled her son into an office, closed the door, and refused to surrender him to the 15 armed police, trying to arrest him. A Kiryat Arba municipal councilman, Rabbi Shimon ben Tzion arrived, and attempted to propose a compromise, but was shouted at by the police, telling him not to bother them.

Akiva & his mother wait for the police

Finally, when Akiva’s father arrived, the two sides agreed that the child would be questioned at the Kiryat Arba police station. The police held Akiva for four hours, questioning him about incidents that occurred six months ago, and about which, in his words, “I knew nothing about.” After discussing whether of not to arrest him, the police released Akiva Lebovitch.

Last week police arrested Akiva’s sister, 19 year old Bat Tzion. In spite of their attempts to arrest her for five days, and then to have her exiled from her home for 2 weeks, a judge ordered her unconditionally released.

Police waiting to arrest Akiva

During a conversation between a police officer and a Hebron resident this morning, the officer, in response to a question: “why do you arrest us for throwing tomatoes, but refuse to arrest Arabs who throw rocks and firebombs,” the officer said, “but you get all the publicity, not them.” This reporter asked him, “is this justice, or equality before the law?” His answer: “No.”