Police decision to close file in death of Palestinian girl appealed

October 2, 2007 23:58
1 minute read.

The human rights organization Yesh Din has appealed a police decision to close the investigation of the death of a 10-year-old Palestinian girl who was allegedly shot to death by a border policeman as she left school in the village of Anata, near Jerusalem. "Yesh Din, which has been following the case since the beginning, examined the classified investigation file and concluded that an indictment for manslaughter could and should be filed against one of the border policemen involved in the incident," the organization announced in a press release sent to The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. Yesh Din attorney Michael Sfard said there was enough material in the file to justify opening an immediate investigation. The victim, Abir Aramin, was killed on January 16, but the investigation only began two days later and it took police investigators five days to inspect the site of the shooting itself. The police closed the file on July 31, citing a lack of evidence. After school on the day of the incident, Aramin stopped at a candy store across from the main street of Anata, where she suddenly collapsed. At the time, border policemen were patrolling her school and a neighboring boys' school because of frequent rock-throwing incidents in the area. The patrol was in the area at the time of the incident. The state and the bereaved family each hired pathologists who came up with conflicting reports on the cause of death. Meanwhile, eyewitnesses testified that border policemen had opened fire on the children. According to Yesh Din, there were irregularities in the police investigation, including the fact that it took so long for the investigation to be initiated, and for investigators to examine the site of the incident. Sfard also maintained that the evidence proved conclusively that the shot which allegedly killed Abir was fired from the rifle of one of the four border policemen who testified that they had shot at the area where Abir and her friends were standing. One of the pathology reports maintained that it was more likely the girl had been hit by a rubber bullet than a rock, as the police had maintained. Finally, the police version that Abir had been hit by a rock thrown by demonstrators at another site was disproved by ballistic and other tests.

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