Border Policeman Ben Deri has been convicted in the shooting death of 17-year-old PA (Palestinian Authority) resident Nadim Nuwara. Deri reached a plea bargain that dropped the charge from manslaughter to causing severe bodily harm and death through negligence.
The incident took place four years ago on Nakba Day during violent Arab clashes and confrontation with security forces at the Bituniya Checkpoint. Nuwara is believed to have been throwing rocks at officers when he was shot.
He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment by the Jerusalem District Court, which also ordered the young soldier to make monetary restitution to the family in the amount of 50,000 shekels.
The court ruled that Deri unjustly opened fire as Nuwara did not pose an immediate threat to his life. It said Deri exhibited a “high degree of negligence” when he loaded his weapon with a live bullet rather than the rubber coated bullets typically used to disperse Palestinian demonstrations.
Honenu calls the conviction “a disgrace”, as was the sentencing of the soldier to prison, adding it has undertaken Deri’s defense.
Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi condemned the length of the sentence as “ludicrous.” She compared its severity to that of a Palestinian teenager, Ahed Tamimi, who is serving an eight-month prison term for slapping and kicking Israeli soldiers outside her West Bank home.
“This unwarranted and unjust decision represents a double standard in Israel’s outrageous sentences passed against Palestinians by Israeli military courts while Israeli occupation forces and illegal and extremist settlers are given free license to act with complete impunity,” she said in a statement.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)