One of the defendants in court (archives)
Photo: Moran Maayan
Light sentence for officers who abused Palestinian
Four Border Guard officers who were caught on tape abusing mentally challenged Palestinian get four months community service. Judge: Violence was not severe

The Jerusalem District Court on Monday sentenced four former Border Guard officers who abused a mentally disabled Palestinian to four months community service.


In February the court convicted Assaf Kone, Mevorach Binyamin and Buziar Farhan on charges of abuse for their involvement in a 2009 incident in which they abused a Palestinian at a checkpoint near the Givat Ze'ev neighborhood. Dor Ya'akobi was also convicted of issuing threats.


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The indictment against the former officers was filed when a video documenting the incident was submitted to the Internal Affairs Division at the Justice Ministry. The footage helped investigators from the human rights group B'Tselem track down the victim, whose identity was not known up to that point.


The incident near Givat Ze'ev


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During the incident, the officers detained the 27-year-old Palestinian and then put him in their police jeep when he was unable to present an identification card. They asked him again where his ID card was, and warned they would sic their dog on him. At this point the Palestinian began to weep, and Ya'akobi hit him in the stomach while Farhan poured water over him.


Attorney Ronen Yitzhak, the State's representative at the trial, asked the court to sentence the officers to 3-5 years, while stressing their cruelty and the damage caused to Israel's image. The defendants' lawyers claimed the incident was brief and that the violence was not severe.


Jerusalem District Court Judge Rafi Carmel said that while the officers' conduct was harsh, the level of violence was not severe and that the dog that was placed in the jeep was near the Palestinian for no more than 40 seconds. The judge was also lenient because the former officers admitted to the allegations and have clean records.


Attorney Moshe Oren, who represented Ya'akobi, said the sentence was "reasonable."



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