Photo: Ilan Marciano
Kissufim clashes
Photo: Ilan Marciano
Photo: Ronny Sofer
Cars against disengagement
Photo: Ronny Sofer

Officer accused of strangling pullout protestor

Border Guard officer accused of assaulting protestor during settlers' demonstration at Kissufim checkpoint in July 2005; according to indictment, 'officer held plaintiff by his neck with two hands, squeezed his throat, chocked him'

The Police Investigation Unit has filed an indictment against Yaniv Reuveni, a 28-year-old Border Guard officer from the southern town of Kiryat Gat. The officer was accused of attacking a Gush Katif resident during the evacuation of Gaza Strip settlements as part of the disengagement, Ynet learned Wednesday.


According to the indictment, which accuses the officer of assault, was filed at the Be'er Sheva Magistrate's Court, on July 11 the plaintiff Elad Cohen participated in an anti-disengagement demonstration held at the Kissufim junction.

Officer Reuveni and complainant Elad Cohen


"During the protest the officer walked toward the plaintiff, held him by his neck using two hands, pressed his finger on his throat and choked him. All that without any provocation by the plaintiff. As a result of the defendant's actions, the plaintiff suffered sever pain in his throat and even lost his breath for several seconds," the indictment read.


'No benefit in choking me'


In a letter of complaint that Cohen sent he described how the officer strangled him:

"On Saturday night we went to protest the new demand that required us to present identification before we enter our homes. We disagreed and were asked to get out of the car. The result was a long traffic jam and a tow track arrived to tow my car."


"I stood next to my car, without any violence of course. A police officer came and, without asking me or explaining to me anything, strangled me and told me not to yell, even though I couldn't yell and couldn't even breathe. Actually, three police officers lunged at me, two held my hands, one simply held it in order to neutralize, but the other one twisted my arm in order inflict pain, and honestly it was very painful," he charged.


Cohen's letter continued: "The third officer strangled me for the longest time and I felt that I couldn't breathe. The one who strangled me also pushed me to the side and then they all started pushing other protestors. Since it was the three of them they could have easily dragged me to side without violence."


"There was no benefit in twisting my arm and choking, except for their need to assault people and prevent them from protesting. My neighbor, a photography student, took a picture at the exact moment of the strangulation and I am asking of you to inform me where I can send the pictures," he said.


Cohen was assisted by a civil rights organization in Judea and Samaria, which filed a criminal complaint against the officer and wrote letters to the attorney general until an indictment was filed.


According to the Police Investigation Unit, every complaint filed during the disengagement is investigated thoroughly and so far a few indictments have been filed against senior officers. One such complaint was filed against Commander Effi Mor, head of the Lachish sub-district.


The unit presented the indictment filed almost a year later as proof that every complaint is meticulously investigated.


פרסום ראשון: 05.31.06, 19:10
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