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Court Rejects Claim from Beit El Resident who was Beaten by Cop

The Small Claims Court has rejected a claim for NIS 17,800 from Beit El resident David Ben-Yaakov, who in July 2005, at 01:50, arrived in his vehicle at the Kissufim Checkpoint in the Gaza area accompanied by his wife, their 10-month-old daughter and his sister.

He told the court that he was instructed to turn around. As he was complying, making a U-turn, Israel Police Lachish Commander Effie Mor attacked him, shouting “get out of here” while threatening him. He reached into the vehicle and hit David three times, striking him in the head and eyes. The victim’s wife and sister were horrified. A Channel 2 News photographer who witnessed the event demanded the senior police officer apologize but he refused.

An official complaint was filed, leading the Justice Ministry Police Investigations Unit to look into the matter, resulting in a censure being placed in Mor’s personal file.

Ben-Yaakov stated that the highest ranking police official “lost it” and as a result, struck him without justification or provocation, setting a new standard for police, permitting unacceptable and illegal behavior. Ben-Yaakov added that the actions of the senior officer compromised the image and integrity of the police force as well as the State of Israel.

The Jerusalem District prosecutor’s office in defense of Mor stated the incident occurred in the nation’s stormiest area, during a protest against the disengagement, which contributed to the tensions and rise in the level of intolerance in the area.

In the judgment handed down earlier in the month by Justice Anna Schneider, without the parties being present, she rejected the plaintiff’s claim but in a rare move, did not compel him to pay court fees. In her ruling, Justice Schneider pointed out that Ben-Yaakov, a Beit El resident, did his part in the incident by making the decision to visit the turbulent area, with his wife and small child. The area Justice Schneider stated was “the heart of the storm” as well as a “closed military zone,” but nevertheless, the Beit El resident opted to come with his family.

Schneider added that while the protestors did everything in their power to compel law enforcement forces to loose their cool and cross the line that should not have been crossed; they on the other hand expected police would meet them “with open arms”.

“Without justifying the actions of the defendant,” Schneider added, she did not see fitting to award the plaintiff the sum being sought.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

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