Police dismissed over conduct in murder case

Three Arad officers removed after probe finds them guilty of ignoring complaint by woman whose daughters were found dead.

Northen Negev 311 (photo credit: SPNI Open Landscape Institute)
Northen Negev 311
(photo credit: SPNI Open Landscape Institute)
Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino on Thursday dismissed the top three officers at the Arad police station, after an internal police committee found them guilty of a dereliction of duty in ignoring a complaint lodged on Monday night by a woman whose two daughters were found murdered less than 24 hours later.
The committee found “severe failures in the performance of all levels among the officers of the Arad station in every aspect of their handling of the mother’s complaint,” and ordered the indefinite dismissal of the chief of the Arad station, Cmdr. Yoni Zeituk, Dep.-Cmdr. Albert Cohen, and the head of the station’s investigations branch, Insp. Roni Eitan.
Danino also passed on the findings of the committee for further review by the national police headquarters in order to determine if further steps need to be taken against the officers.
The committee was headed by Police Investigations Branch head Dep.-Ch. Ephraim Bracha.
From the first moments of the investigation of the murders, the committee discovered that a day before the girls, aged two and four, were found dead in the village of al-Fura, their mother came to the Arad station and lodged a complaint telling officers that she feared that her ex-husband, the girls’ father, posed a clear and present danger to their lives. The complaint was not followed up, and the officers did not make contact with the father.
On Wednesday morning, police arrested three members of the girls’ family, including the father’s new wife and two of her sons, aged 15 and 17.
The father has not been found and may be hiding in the West Bank, police said.