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Naalin shooting incident
Photo: B'Tselem
Military judge: Naalin arrest unfounded
Military court orders release of father of girl who documented IDF soldier firing rubber bullets at bound Palestinian in Naalin, accuses prosecution, police of being unprofessional. Father's attorney: 'Release proves arrest was out of vengeance'

The Judea and Samaria Military Court of Appeals on Sunday ordered the release of Jamal Amira, the 53-year old father of Salaam Amira, the girl who documented the Naalin shooting incident in which an IDF soldier can be seen firing rubber bullets at a bound Palestinian.

 

The judge who ordered the man's release reprimanded the prosecution and said that the three charges against the defendant – violation of an enclosed military space, participation in a protest, and assault of a soldier – lacked evidence. The judge expressed the questionability of the charges by asking, "Why was the father of the girl arrested out of all those protesting at the time?"

 

The judge determined that the defendant made a valid point when he said the protest had been peaceful, and that he saw no evidence of assault. He ordered the defendant's release pending $2,100 in bail.

 

The father's attorney, Gabi Laski, said the decision "confirms our preliminary claim that the arrest was out of vengeance and punishment for the video filmed by the girl." She added that the prosecution should not disregard claims such as these before choosing to indict, and that the judge had reprimanded police for being unprofessional.

 

"If the prosecution sees that the material is insufficient it should request additional material rather than use it as the basis for the claim," Laski said, referring to the lack of evidence. She claimed that the judge's decision is significant because it implies that protests in Naalin are not a felony.

 

"It's time we realized that the Palestinians living under occupation have the right of freedom of expression and freedom to protest, especially when a judge determines that the protest is non-violent, so why prevent it? The police and army must comprehend that not every protest is a violation of public order," she said.

 

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