Israel’s War Against Palestine: Documenting the Military Occupation of Palestinian and Arab Lands

Israeli Court: probe of slain Palestinian girl ‘sloppy’

11 July 2011

IOA Editor: This is the latest chapter in the struggle of a Palestinian family whose daughter, Abir Aramin, who was murdered by Israeli Occupation forces, as they try to put their personal tragedy in the context of the broader struggle for Justice and for Palestinian national liberation. The several reports that follow, all from an Israeli publication that is hardly sympathetic to Palestinian victims of Israel’s occupation, tell a story about remarkable people.


By Aviad Glickman, – 10 July 2011,7340,L-4093294,00.html

High Court rejects petition to put 2 Border Guard officers on trial for death of Abir Aramin, but slams police, prosecution for ‘incomplete’ investigation

Abir Aramin

Abir Aramin

The High Court of Justice rejected Sunday a petition to put two Border Guard officers on trial for alleged involvement in the death of 10-year-old Abir Aramin, nearly a year after Jerusalem District Court ruled that she was killed by a rubber bullet shot by Border Guard officers during a riot.

However, in their ruling, the High Court justices criticized the police and prosecution, calling their investigation “sloppy and incomplete.” The State of Israel and the Border Guard were also forced to pay NIS 10,000 ($2,942) for legal costs.

Aramin was killed in January 2007 near her school in the village of Anta, north of Jerusalem, where Border Guard forces were dispersing a violent riot. Police adamantly claimed that according to the autopsy, the child was killed from a stone – but a week after the incident, her family, with the help of the B’Tselem organization, published a pathologist’s report stating she was hit by a rubber bullet.

The family petitioned the High Court and demanded proceedings be opened against the officers.

After the Supreme Court ordered the State to explain why the investigation was not reopened, the State announced that after examining the case they will not file an indictment due to lack of sufficient evidence proving Aramin was hit by a rubber bullet.

Furthermore, the State said they could not collect evidence from witnesses in the village of Anta, claiming they could not be traced.

‘Investigation was flawed’

The High Court criticized the police and prosecution for their work on the case. In the sentencing, High Court President Dorit Beinish wrote that the police and prosecution should have collected evidence right after the incident occurred. She added police forces should have done more to investigate the cause of the girl’s death.

“It’s an elementary duty to open an immediate probe and not count on the police or those involved, who are naturally inclined to defend themselves,” stated Beinish. “There is no doubt that the handling of this investigation was flawed from the get-go.”

However Beinish remarked that as of now, four and a half years after the incident, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein made a reasonable and professional call to not put the Border Guard officers on trial, stressing the lack of evidence in this case.

The Yesh Din organization responded: “If Aramin would have been a Jewish girl it’s likely that the investigation would have been efficient and quick. The law authorities have prevented Abir’s family from achieving justice and unfortunately it’s not the only case.”



Killed Palestinian girl’s father: Soldiers are victims too

By Ali Waked, – 19 Aug 2010,7340,L-3938087,00.html

After court rules State must compensate Palestinian family for daughter’s death by rubber bullet fired by Border Guard officers in 2007, father Bassam Aramin says officers product of ‘delinquent society still living the Holocaust… they took their frustration out on 10-year-old girl’

“I hope the soldiers who murdered my daughter are brought to justice,” said Bassam Aramin, the father of Abir Aramin after the court ruled that the State of Israel must compensate her family for her death.

However, he is not placing all the blame on the Border Guard officers whose rubber bullets killed his daughter. “I think the solders are the victims of their delinquent society, a society that seems to still be living the Holocaust, and thinks that Abir is part of the Nazi machine that exterminated millions of Jews – and they therefore took their frustration and anger out on a 10-year-old girl. Maybe I should actually sue Germany,” the father said.

Abir was killed in January 2007 near her school in the village of Anta north of Jerusalem, where Border Guard forces were dispersing a violent riot. Police adamantly claimed that according to the autopsy, the child was killed from a stone – but a week after the incident, her family, with the help of the B’Tselem organization, published a pathologist’s report stating she was hit by a rubber bullet.

Campaign calling for probe of Abir’s death (Photo: Activestills)

The family petitioned the High Court of Justice and demanded proceedings be opened against the officers – a petition which has yet to be heard. In addition, the family filed a civil suit against the State. In this lawsuit, the Jerusalem District Court ruled Monday that the girl was indeed hit by a rubber bullet, which was fired against protocol, and that the State was negligent and must therefore compensate the family. The sum of the compensation has yet to be determined.

‘I want them to be punished’

“I cannot blame an 18-year-old boy for shooting an innocent 10-year-old girl,” said the father, who is known for his activity in the Combatants for Peace organization and his ties with Israeli peace activists. “There is something behind this, and it’s the government’s policies and the narrative his state has instilled in him. But still, I want them to be punished. I hope it doesn’t end where it stands today.”

Aramin said despite fears that the truth may be “swept under the rug”, which he says in an Israeli norm with regards to Palestinian victims, “I would very much like to hope that the two will be punished, because it can’t be that the killer will be freely drinking beers while I am burning inside. We cannot forget the bleeding wound. Just this morning something happened that reminded me and her mother of her, and we started crying.”

He added, “When the State of Israel denied responsibility that its men are the ones who murdered my daughter, it was very bad torture. I am glad they at least recognized that their soldiers are the ones who murdered her.”

‘Attempts to cover up in vain’

Lea Tsemel

Lea Tsemel

According to Attorney Leah Zemel, who helped the family with the case, “Justice has been served, for the family and for the girl who went to by a treat after an exam. All the police and Border Guard’s attempts to cover it up, were in vain. This is because things made it to court, and were so obvious and significant.

“Abir was shot with a rubber bullet from a forbidden distance – and whoever fired – didn’t care. He knew that rubber bullet batteries were being fired everywhere, and the bullets’ routes could not be controlled. This is why it reached the adjacent street and hit the girl in the head. Afterwards those responsible fled the scene, and covered for themselves as usual, with the IDF and Border Guard standing behind them and not bothering to look into it.”

According to Zemel, “without the hard work of the Yesh Din organization, Attorney Michael Sfard, and Attorney Ghadad Hleihel, the truth wouldn’t have come out.”

Of the girl’s father, Zemel said, “He represents the stream that calls for peace in the society from which he comes, and now, his daughter has been killed as well. This is why the court ruled on a just end to this grim affair. There is hope that in other cases of innocent people being injured as a result of the use of crowd dispersal weapons, justice will be served.”

Adar Greivski, who also helped the family with its campaign to have the incident probed said, “The court finally ruled that the version of the family and the eyewitnesses is the real version, and that the Border Guard lied and tried to whitewash what happened. I am glad responsibility will be placed with the relevant bodies, and I hope the security forces draw the necessary conclusions – to refrain from harming the civilian population.”



Court: State responsible for Palestinian girl’s death

By Aviad Glickman, – 16 Aug 2010,7340,L-3937640,00.html

Jerusalem judge rules death of 10-year-old Abir Aramin from rubber bullet in 2007 due to State’s negligence. ‘Shooting did not target rioters or stone-throwers,’ she determines. Court to rule on damages to family in October

Abir Aramin

Abir Aramin

The State is responsible for the death of 10-year-old Palestinian girl Abir Aramin in 2007 and will compensate her family, the Jerusalem District Court ruled Monday.

The court determined that the girl was killed by a stray rubber bullet fired by a Border Guard officer. According to the ruling, the shooting was the result of the State’s negligence.

In addition to the civil suit, the girl’s family filed an appeal with the High Court of Justice, demanding that the Israeli fighters be put on trial, this after the State Prosecutor’s Office closed the case against them.

Judge Orit Efal-Gabai said in her ruling that there was no dispute that the shooting, which occurred in the West Bank village of Anata, was conducted in violation of the rules of engagement.

“The shooting did not target rioters or stone-throwers. Abir and her friends were walking down a street from which no stones were thrown at Border Guard forces. There was no apparent reason to fire in that direction,” according to the ruling.

The lawsuit, which was filed by Attorney Lea Tsemel on behalf of Abir’s parents in July 2007, demanded financial compensation for the family.

Judge Efal-Gabai further ruled that another hearing will be held in October to determine the amount of damages.

The ruling was based on the testimonies of Abir’s friends. “They went through a very difficult experience and witnessed her (Abir’s) injury,” said the judge, adding that the State’s version of the events, according to which Abir was hit by a stone and not a rubber bullet, was “unlikely.”

Following Abir’s death, her family presented a pathological report which determined that she was struck by a rubber bullet. However, Israel Police said an autopsy showed she was not killed by a rubber bullet.

Human rights group Yesh Din and Bassam Aramin, Abir’s father, filed a High Court petition against the attorney general and two Border Guard officers, demanding that the officers be prosecuted.

Following the appeal, the State Prosecution announced that the girl’s death would be investigated further.

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