Border cop who killed Palestinian jailed

In 2002 Shahar Butbika, sentenced to 8.5 years in jail, threw Imran Abu Hamdia, 17, off a moving jeep.

border police hebron 248.88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
border police hebron 248.88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Shahar Butbika, who when he was a border policeman in 2002 killed a 17-year-old Palestinian by throwing him off a jeep in Hebron, was sentenced on Monday to eight-and-a-half years in prison. His friend and fellow policeman, Dennis al-Hazub, who documented the case, was sentenced to five-and-a-half years in jail. They were both convicted of manslaughter, kidnapping, abuse of power, assault leading to injury and obstruction of justice. In the December 2002, border policemen detained Imran Abu Hamdia, ordered him to enter their jeep, beat him on the head, and then shoved him out of the moving vehicle. The entire incident was videotaped by one of the officers in the jeep, court documents released on Thursday said. However, the tape was subsequently destroyed. Yanai Lalzeh, another border policeman, was previously sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison in connection with the case. The jeep's driver, Bassam Wahabi, was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail in September 2005. According to the court documents, the four suspects went to Hebron that day with the sole purpose of attacking Arabs. Before coming upon Abu Hamdia, they allegedly beat at least two other Palestinians inside the jeep, hurling one of them to the ground while the jeep was moving. Police believe that Abu Hamdia was killed in retaliation for the November 16, 2002, Islamic Jihad attack on security forces that left 12 Israelis dead. One of those killed in that Friday night ambush was an officer in the border policemen's unit. Etgar Lefkovits contributed to this report.