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Two Palestinians Were Indicted for Attacking Israeli Policemen. This Video Made Israel Drop the Charges

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The prosecution cancels the indictment against the two Palestinians from East Jerusalem, which was drafted without examining video evidence that Israel Police attacked them, and not the other way around.

Two Palestinians from East Jerusalem will not be charged with attacking police officers after video evidence proved that they were the victims of violence, and not the perpetrators.

The prosecution had prepared a draft indictment without viewing the videos or considering testimony that was given to the Justice Ministry’s police misconduct unit. That testimony contradicted the original police report filed following the violent incident in 2019.

In the past, Judge David Rozen, who serves as ombudsman for complaints against the prosecutor’s office, was sharply critical of the police misconduct unit over its alleged mishandling of the investigation of the incident, after which the investigation of the officers was closed.

The incident occurred in November 2019, during an ongoing police operation in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Isawiyah, when officers from the Yasam special forces unit of the police entered the neighborhood.

Videos of the incident and other evidence show that the police had blocked a street, after which a neighborhood resident, Adam Masri, approached them and asked them not to park in his private parking place. In response, the police attacked him, severely beat and choked him and pepper-sprayed him, causing Masri to lose consciousness. Palestinian activist Mohammed Abu Hummus, who is a neighbor and relative of Masri’s, was also assaulted.

The fact that Abu Hummus and Masri were the victims of the assault was also raised at hearings immediately following the incident. Both the magistrate’s court and the district court were critical of the police conduct and declined police requests to keep the two men in custody.

“I reviewed the videos that I was shown by the defense and the investigative material that had been collected,” District Court Judge Mordechay Caduri wrote. “I believe there is no need to elaborate.” The videos speak for themselves, he added.

Possible police misconduct was raised early on in the proceedings. The judges handling the arrest hearings for the two East Jerusalem residents ordered the case to be brought to the attention of the Justice Ministry’s police misconduct unit. In addition, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel filed a detailed complaint with the unit, but the case against the officers was closed for insufficient evidence.

Judge Rozen found that a “serious failure” had occurred in the conduct of the unit, and Keren Bar-Menachem, who heads the unit, apologized for the department’s handling of the case. Nevertheless, the criminal investigation against Masri and Abu Hummus continued, and recently the two were informed that serious charges would be filed.

According to a draft indictment, the two were violent toward the police and prevented them from blocking the road, and when the police tried to stop them, they assaulted the officers, beat them and bit them. The prosecution informed Masri and Abu Hummus that they would face charges of aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and obstructing the police.

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Article source: Haaretz

2024-05-08 07:04:10.000000