The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Monday convicted two police officers, Baruch Peretz and Assaf Yakutieli, of negligent homicide for leaving an injured Palestinian man to die on the side of the road.
Jariban had been seriously injured in a car accident on May 28, 2008 while driving a stolen car and had been in Israel illegally.
Judge Haim Liran rejected the arguments made by the police officers, among others, that Jariban, who was found dead, was not the man who the police had left by the road-side. The court rejected this argument based on witnesses’ testimony correctly identifying Jariban.
The court also rejected all explanations the police made for why they left Abu Jariban, injured at the time, by the side of the road on June 12, 2008, where he died of dehydration.
The primary narrative from the police was that they had left him in a public and lit intersection where many Palestinians drive through and expected that he would be picked up by another Palestinian passing by the area.
Liran said that there was no rational explanation for how an injured man who was barefoot, in hospital pajamas with a urinary tract catheter attached to him could be left by the side of the road in an area that he was not familiar with. Most importantly, the court noted, he was left without food or water in the middle of the summer.
There are also standard procedures which the officers ignored, the court said, including turning a person like Jariban over to Border Police or IDF border guards and mentioning to their headquarters commander that Jariban was injured, when requesting instructions.
The court ultimately condemned the officer’s actions saying that they had been “completely closed off from” the distress of an injured person and that any human being with the bare minimum of “eyes in his head and compassion in his heart” could not have acted as they did.
Jariban was initially hospitalized after the car accident, and subsequently released into police custody, though he still required medical attention and rehabilitation.
Although there was an attempt to admit Jariban to a Prisons Service medical facility, since the facility was full, the officers eventually decided to leave him by the side of the road.