High Court not to further probe West Bank protester's death

Lawyer implies decision could impact possible ICC investigation into Israeli war crimes

August 28, 2014 20:43
1 minute read.
west bank clash

Palestinian protesters hurl stones towards IDF troops during clashes at a protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, in the West Bank City of Hebron August 9, 2014.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The High Court of Justice on Thursday rejected a Yesh Din petition to compel the IDF to reopen the issue of investigating the death of Jawaher Abu Rahmah, who died on January 1, 2011 in disputed circumstances following a Bil'in protest against the West Bank wall.

Jawaher's brother Bassam Abu Rahmah was killed by an IDF gas canister in 2009, but the case was closed for lack of evidence and her brother Ashraf Abu Rahmah was shot in the leg during a separate incident in July 2008 leading the High Court to demand that the IDF try the soldier who shot him.

Yesh Din had argued, among other things, that the case needed a full investigation as the decision not to open a full investigation was based solely on a non-legal operational investigation, which the state's own Second Report of the Turkel Commission has rejected as a way to operate.

In other words, Yesh Din said that the state's decision rested on an old policy which has been declared flawed.

The High Court said that, without a formal investigation of the death said to be caused by tear-gas inhalation, the state's review of its own decision was serious enough that it would not intervene.

Yesh Din's Michael Sfard indirectly implied that the state's decision and the High Court's support would put Israel in further danger in the upcoming major legal battles over whether Israel can sufficiently investigate alleged war crimes or whether the International Criminal Court may get involved.

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