The State Attorney’s Office for Internal Investigations filed an appeal in the
Central District Court on Thursday to give a harsher sentence to two volunteer
security guards for cruel treatment of Palestinians in custody who had illegally
crossed into Israel.
The two guards, Eitan Arzi and Shai Soolam, who
admitted to the conduct they were accused of, were sentenced to a mere 200 hours
of community service and were not convicted of any offense.
sentence was handed down by the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court on October
The appeal does not specify what the sentence should be, but requests
that the court formally convict the defendants and hand down a harsher penalty
proportionate to the conviction.
The guards caught four Palestinians who
had illegally crossed into Israel at Kanot junction.
They were ordered to
bring them to the nearby checkpoint so they would return to their homes under
Violating their orders, the guards dropped each of the
Palestinians off separately at locations far from where they needed to
Despite the cold winter conditions prevailing at the time, they
took away the Palestinians’ shoes and some of their clothes.
the guards also stoned two of the four Palestinians when dropping them
The appeal claims that the case represents a gross abuse of
authority by the guards, who violated the Palestinians’ human dignity while they
were already in custody and not resisting being returned to Palestinian
Additionally, the state said the lenient sentence essentially
whitewashed the disgraceful actions and was divorced from the accepted range of
punishments, noting that the lower court did not justify its departure from this
The guards were indicted in June 2007 with aggravated battery,
theft and abuse of authority.
The events that were the subject of the
case occurred in January 2007.
The Palestinians were caught while driving
from Ashdod toward the Kanot junction.
They had pulled over on the side
of the road when their car had a problem.
The first guard noticed the car
stopped by the roadside and started making arrests when one of the Palestinians
revealed that he was from Yatta, near Hebron.