BTselem Logo 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Judges at the High Court of Justice on Sunday rejected the petition of Bassem
and Salwa Aramin to indict the border policemen suspected of killing their
daughter, Abir Aramin, in January 2007.
The petition was filed with the
assistance of human rights group Yesh Din.
The 10-year-old Abir was
killed outside her school in the West Bank town of Anata, northeast of
Jerusalem, as Border Police dispersed a riot nearby.
According to a
pathologist’s report published by Abir’s family, with assistance from the
B’Tselem human rights group, the girl was killed by a rubber bullet shot into
The Border Police, however, claimed that the girl’s autopsy
showed she was killed by a stone.
In July 2007, the Jerusalem District
Attorney’s Office announced it was closing the investigation into Abir’s death
because of lack of evidence, concluding that it was not possible to determine
whether the girl had been killed by a rubber bullet or a stone.
against that decision was rejected.
The case was then taken to the High
Court of Justice, and in February 2010 the court asked the attorney-general to
explain why the case had been closed.
In March 2010, the state responded
it would reopen the case.
In their ruling Sunday, Chief Justice Dorit
Beinisch and Justices Ayala Procaccia and Edna Arbel upheld the
attorney-general’s decision against indicting the border policemen mostly
because of the difficulty inherent in conducting an investigation into Abir’s
death four years after it occurred.
However, in rejecting the petition to
indict the border policemen, the judges sharply criticized the preliminary
investigation into the girl’s death.
In their report, the judges wrote
that an investigation into Abir’s death should have been conducted immediately
after it occurred.
“It is a basic rule that when a violent incident
occurs that causes severe injury and later death of a civilian, an immediate
investigation should be held at the site,” they wrote.
The judges went on
to criticize the handling of the case, which they described as “faulty from the
The report concluded that the IDF soldiers operating in
the West Bank must take into account the civilian population there.
IDF must take into account – even in serious situations – the fact that they are
facing a civilian population, most of which has no desire to be involved in
violent incidents,” they concluded.
Yesh Din criticized the Israeli
authorities for “withholding justice from Abir’s family.
“Had Abir Aramin
been a Jewish girl, it is very likely that the investigation would have been
thorough and quick,” said attorney Michael Sfard, Yesh Din’s legal adviser.