Some 100 youngsters held a bicycle trip Thursday from Samaria's Tapuach Junction to the West Bank town of Jericho in the aims of "renewing the Jewish presence in the area."
However, police officers called to the area, including riot police, attempted to convince the youngsters to call off their trip and eventually detained three of them.
Some riders evade police (Photo: Yair Altman)
The detainees, arrested on suspicion of illegal gathering, include two Hilltop Youth leaders who organized the initiatives and a girl who violated the terms of her house arrest.
One of the organizers, Meir Bartler, attempted to convince police to allow the bicycle trip to continue. However, officers refused the request and threatened to use force should the teenagers proceed with their plans. Bartler said that according to legal advice he received, police are not authorized to prevent bike trips.
'Arrest is illegal'The teenagers did not give up and took a bus to a nearby parking lot, where bicycles were waiting for them. A riot police force that followed the bus quickly intervened, yet some 20 youngsters managed to grab a bicycle and headed to Jericho through dirt roads in the area.
"The police and army should know that youngsters at the outposts also enjoy civil rights and freedom of movement," Bartler said, adding that his arrest was illegal and that police had no authority to confiscate bicycle.
A bicycle rider who managed to evade police told Ynet that "we're continuing on our way and believe that we'll reach Jericho in a short while. From there we hope to reach the Shalom al Yisrael synagogue and show our presence there."
Meanwhile, Israeli police officials were preparing to coordinate the return of the teenagers with Palestinian police officers.
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