Mounted Israeli police scuffle with pro-settler supporters at the Amona outpost, February 1, 2006.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A police officer who was filmed beating unarmed minors sitting with their arms crossed during the February 2006 eviction of the illegal outpost of Amona was sentenced on Monday to six months’ community service.
In passing sentence, Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge Dov Pollok said that officer Mordechai Mehager, “without being under any threat and without any justification, starting beating minors with a baton while they sat with their arms crossed. The defendant didn’t stop with a single blow, but instead struck with his baton again and again and also kicked [the complainants].
The defendant did not hurt only one person, rather he hurt three minors and caused severe injury.”
Mehager’s conviction includes three counts of assault that caused significant injury and one count of severe battery.
The incident occurred when police went into a building to clear out a group of teenagers who were sitting on the floor with their arms crossed and refusing to leave the room.
In the video of the incident, Mehager can be seen using his nightstick to repeatedly strike the teens, who are still seated.
Mehager, the former head of a special police patrol unit, not only hurt the three minors, but also “the values and public faith in the police,” Judge Pollok said, adding that in cases where policemen were convicted of using undue force they were typically given a few months in prison that was reduced to community service. Pollok said that, because the case involved three complainants, he decided to make the sentence more severe.
Mehager will perform his community service at the Armored Corps Memorial and Museum in Latrun.