Two border police indicted for beating Arab youth

Suspects indicted for assault leading to injury, obstruction of justice, and giving false testimony in 2010 incident.

October 29, 2012 18:51
1 minute read.
Crime scene [illustrative]

Police generic in english crime scene 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

The Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Unit indicted two border police on Monday in the Jerusalem Magistrate Court for beating an Arab teenager in October 2010.

The incident took place near Lions Gate in the Old City on October 28, 2010, when border police officers Omri Cohen and Dani Avra asked an Arab minor for ID, according to the indictment. The police officers then informed the minor that they wanted to search him in a nearby cemetery.

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The indictment states that during the search, Avra grabbed the complainant’s face and told him “not to make trouble.” When the youth tried to squirm out of his grasp, Cohen then hit the victim in the face with the butt of Avra’s gun, causing the complainant to bleed. Afterwards, the two officers brought the youth to the David Station precinct and accused him of attacking a police officer and creating a public disturbance. The complainant required stitches in his right eyebrow as a result of the incident.

Cohen and Avra then worked out an alternative version together about what happened and filed a false report of the incident, in order to avoid possible investigations or legal repercussions resulting from the youth’s injuries.

The two were indicted for assault leading to injury, obstruction of justice, and giving false testimony. A Border Police spokesman said the incident “is not representative of border police in the defense of the state of Israel.”

“It is important to emphasize that the border police views this incident very seriously and denounces all of the behavior of these police officers which opposes the principles upon which the Israel police are based,” he added.

The incident took place during one of the tensest periods in east Jerusalem in the past few years, just a month after Silwan resident Samr Sirkhan was shot to death by private security guards, leading to days of rioting across the Old City and east Jerusalem. 

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