Tomer Zarchin
December 12, 2008 - 1:00am

The state petitioned the Supreme Court on Friday to rescind the release to house arrest of a West Bank settler caught on film allegedly shooting two Palestinians in Hebron last week.

The state prosecution argued that Ze'ev Braude, who allegedly shot the Palestinians during the evacuation of Hebron's so-called House of Contention, should not be freed on the grounds that he posed a threat to the general public.

On Thursday, a judge at Jerusalem District Court Thursday tightened conditions for Braude's release, confining him to full house arrest.

Judge Malka Aviv of the city's Magistrate's Court released Braude Wednesday with restrictions, allowing him to remain only within the confines of Kiryat Arba, the Hebron-area settlement in which he lives.

Following the State Prosecutor's Office appeal of Aviv's decision yesterday, Judge Orit Efal-Gabbai said at the hearing that "At this stage, it is difficult to say whether the incident was the initiative of the defendant."

"I don't agree with the initial court ruling, as it does not reflect the danger presented by the defendant should he be immediately released," she said.

The judge ruled that Braude's contention that he fired in self-defense does not explain the resort to violence, which according to the indictment he initiated. "Even if the judgment on this matter was mistaken, that is no justification for laying inappropriate conditions for the release of the suspect," she said.

Braude's attorney, Ariel Atari, said after the hearing, "We're very happy with the decision. Braude acted out of self defense," adding that the footage did not show the beginning of the confrontation.

"When the court receives the full picture, Braude's claims will be able to be proven," he said.


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