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Friday, November 29, 1996 | return to: international


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Israeli border police indicted for beating Palestinians

by NAOMI SEGAL, Jewish Telegraphic Agency

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JERUSALEM -- Six Israeli border policemen were indicted this week on charges of beating Palestinians.

At the Jerusalem Magistrates Court, David Ben Abu and Tsachi Shmaya were charged with aggravated assault and abuse of power.

The judge ruled Tuesday the police would be placed under house arrest and barred from speaking to one another.

The incident, which occurred several weeks ago, was recorded on video by a Palestinian who happened to be nearby. The video was broadcast worldwide last week.

The tape showed scenes of the two soldiers kicking and beating six Palestinians who had attempted to enter Israel at a roadblock in northern Jerusalem without work permits.

Yisrael Sadan, the commander of the border police, has acknowledged that Palestinians had submitted complaints of beatings by border police and that the incident involving Ben Abu and Shmaya was not the worst.

In another case, four border police were charged with aggravated assault and abuse of power in an incident that occurred five months ago.

According to the charge sheet, Eran Aldi of Arad, Benny Deri of Kiryat Bialik, Asaf Shahar of Tirat Carmel and Meir Elbaz of Kiryat Ata, were on patrol in the Jerusalem area when they detained a Hebron resident who was in Israel without a permit.

They covered his head and drove him to the Ramot forest on the outskirts of Jerusalem, where they beat him unconscious.

A passerby later found the Palestinian, and helped him receive medical care.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority said it plans to give video cameras to Palestinians living near Israeli checkpoints to help them document any abuse by Israel Defense Force troops, a top Palestinian adviser said.

That move came after an amateur Palestinian cameraman captured on video the latest beating -- echoing the infamous Rodney King case in Los Angeles.

In another recent incident, border police at a roadblock in southern Jerusalem were attacked by 10 Palestinians.

Police said the Palestinians, who were apparently drunk, became violent when the border police asked to see identification papers.

Copyright Notice (c) 1996, San Francisco Jewish Community Publications Inc., dba Jewish Bulletin of Northern California. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced in any form without permission.


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