Jerusalem – Joy erupted throughout Ohel Sarah as news Shmuel Veisfish’s release to his home spread Wednesday. His friend Binyomin Blatt was likewise freed after having been arrested at the demonstration in Shabbos Square this past Monday.
A Jerusalem court judge ordered their release after not seeing a reason to continue their incarceration. Nevertheless, the legal proceedings against Veisfish will continue. The release was granted under limited conditions: no entry to Jerusalem for 30 days, and prohibition to approach the Space retail shop for 180 days. Additionally, Veisfish had to pay a bail of 20,000 shekels and an additional bond of 15,000.
Veisfish’s friends, who arrived to greet him upon release, escorted him home with song and dance. One member of the Veisfish’s activist group spoke to a Chadrei Chareidim reporter over the sounds of music, saying “This is a big day—it’s a day of victory for Hashem and His Torah over heresy. It’s a day of victory of light over darkness,” adding, “This only encourages us to continue guarding Jerusalem’s purity. ‘Ka’asher yaanu oso, kein yirbeh v’chein yifrotz.’ ”
In recent days demonstrations and violent events were held in light of Veisfish’s ongoing incarceration. Several streets were rocked by burning garbage cans, while Shabbos Square turned into a center of violence where protestors clashed with police.
Shmuel Veisfish had been arrest ten days ago on suspicion of being behind the acts of violence against the Space and Greentech stores fronting Shabbos Square. The “offenses” of said establishments included selling “tamei” MP4 players and videos by frum producers the Growise Brothers. Daily protests continued outside the stores even after Veisfish’s arrest.
Additionally, police suspected that Veisfishwas connected with activities undertaken at the behest of the Mishmeres Hatznius. Although police have linked the arrests of Meyerovitch, Buzaglo and and Veisfish, and the activities of the Mishmeres Hatznius as well as the anti-store protests, there is no apparent connection and the two are entirely separate groups.
At the meeting between Av Beis Din Rabbi Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss [Gave’d] head of the Edah Hachareidis and police representative held last weekend, the release of the arrestees was agreed upon in exchange for the restoration of calm and the stoppage of protests and garbage-can burnings. In return, police did not request an incarceration extension for Veisfish, and he was freed.
Jerusalem police spokesman Shmulik Ben-Ruby stated: “The release of Veisfish was carried out as all avenues of investigation did not demosntrate a reason to keep holding him. As far as the police are concerned, the next step is to present a list of offenses against the arrestees for suspicion of illegal activities under the auspices of the Mishmeres Hatznius. The police are keeping their eyes wide open and do not intend to compromise on public order in the streets of the capital.”