ZE’EV BRAUDE 390.
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court is set to hear a criminal complaint on Sunday
against Ze’ev Braude, a Kiryat Arba man who allegedly shot at Palestinians
during a violent incident in Hebron, attorneys for the Palestinian complainant
announced on Monday.
In July 2010, attorneys Avigdor Feldman and Michael
Sfard from Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights filed the criminal complaint
on behalf of Hebron resident Hosni Abd el- Hai Matriya, who was wounded in the
alleged incident, a year after the state announced its decision to drop charges
against Braude, citing security reasons.
The move to file a koblana
a criminal complaint prosecuted by a private citizen, is a highly
unusual one, since almost all criminal cases in Israel are prosecuted by the
state, which is considered both impartial and possessing the means to conduct a
criminal investigation and proceedings.
Feldman said on Monday that the
decision to file the criminal complaint had come after “law-enforcement agencies
failed in their duty to protect the Matriya family.”
“The complaint is an
act of civil defense,” he added.
B’Tselem – The Israeli Information
Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories filmed the incident, which
occurred during a series of violent incidents between Palestinians and settlers
after the IDF on December 4, 2008, evacuated settlers from a three-story
building in Hebron dubbed “Beit Hashalom.”
The video footage shows
Braude, who was 51 at the time of the incident, hitting and pushing a
Palestinian. Afterward, Braude was attacked by several more Palestinians and
fired a shot. The injured Palestinian is shown falling to the ground, then
getting up and throwing stones at Braude.
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According to Issa Amro, a 28-
year-old eyewitness and the Hebron coordinator of B’Tselem’s camera-distribution
project “Shooting Back,” the incident happened after Braude and another man
began arguing with Palestinians about their right to the land and the
Palestinians told them to leave.
Attorney Ariel Atari, who represented
Braude, said at the time that he and another Jewish man involved in the incident
had acted in self-defense after being attacked by Palestinians holding rocks.
Atari also said that Braude had fired into the air and noted that Braude had
been taken to a hospital and given 36 stitches in a head wound after the
Braude turned himself in to police after the incident. He was
remanded in custody but later released to house arrest. In a remand hearing
after the incident, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court said that although the
events in which Braude had been involved were “grave,” not least because of the
background of tension in the area, there were also questions regarding the
conduct of the Palestinians involved, who had also been responsible for the
On December 10, 2008, the Jerusalem district attorney filed an
indictment against Braude, though the Kiryat Arba man never stood
In July 2009, months after the indictment, Defense Minister Ehud
Barak signed a confidentiality certificate relating to evidence in the case that
concerned Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) intelligence sources, those working
for the organization and its units.
Braude’s legal team immediately moved
to petition the High Court of Justice, demanding that state prosecutors reveal
the secret evidence, which they said could help Braude’s defense. However, the
State Attorney’s Office argued in court that disclosing the evidence would harm
state security, and that the state would retract the indictment if the court
ordered the evidence to be released.
In July 2009, after the High Court
ruled in favor of Braude’s petition, the State Attorney’s Office dropped the
charges against him.
The hearing will take place at 9 a.m. on Sunday in
the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court before Judge Yaron Mientkavich.
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