An outpost beside the West Bank Jewish settlement of Kochav Hashahar.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday filed an indictment with the city’s district court against two Jewish minors for attacking a 50-year-old Palestinian shepherd near the West Bank settlement of Kochav Hashahar on May 13.
The minors, whose names are under gag order, were charged with causing grave bodily injury under exaggerated circumstances and illegal possession of a knife.
According to a statement by the Justice Ministry, the defendants and five other minors noticed the man and decided to throw him out of the area by attacking him, having decided on their own that he was not allowed in the area.
Each of the minors covered their faces with their shirts, donned gloves and armed themselves with iron rods with sharp, knife-like tips.
The group beat the Palestinian until he fell and lost consciousness, and then fled the scene.
The victim was eventually taken by ambulance to the hospital.
The case has received massive media attention because one of the minors was initially scooped up in the round of arrests of persons suspected of the Duma murders.
The right-wing NGO Honenu claimed he was exposed to torture, but that he had been wrongly suspected.
The organization said a sudden decision last week by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court to release him to house arrest showed that the police had messed up as well as violated his rights, including initially denying him the right to consult with his lawyer.
Judea and Samaria Police spokesman Dudu Ashraf had said on Tuesday that police arrested a minor suspected of attacking a Palestinian shepherd, and that they had wanted to keep him in custody so they could simulate a confrontation between him and another suspect, but that they failed to locate the other suspect.
Even as the court released the minor to house arrest, Ashraf added that the case is far from over, and that it is still expected that he will be indicted for attacking a Palestinian shepherd – a prediction which came true on Wednesday.
Still, the Justice Ministry made no mention of the often standard motion filed regarding violent offenders to detain the minor until the end of his trial.
While the minor was indeed indicted, Honenu can claim that the failure to detain him again shows he was never really dangerous, and that the police and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) mistreated him earlier.Ben Hartman contributed to this report.