Border policeman who killed Palestinian flees

Yanai Lalza, sentenced to 6.5 years for throwing youth from jeep, fails to show for prison sentence.

Yanai Lalza, a border policeman convicted of killing a Palestinian youth in Hebron in 2002, has failed to turn up to serve his prison sentence, the Police Investigation Department (PID) said Tuesday, adding that a hunt for Lalza was underway. Lalza was convicted of killing Abu Hamdaya by throwing him out of a moving jeep in December 2002 and was sentenced to six-and-a-half years behind bars. The PID had demanded that Lalza be kept in custody until the end of proceedings, but he was allowed to go free until the beginning of his sentence. The Jerusalem District Court convicted Lalza of manslaughter for the incident. He was also convicted of abusing other Palestinians with three of his comrades - incidents which were caught on camera. Jerusalem District Court Judge Orit Gabai decided against giving Lalza a harsher sentence due to difficult family circumstances. According to the indictment served against the four, in December 2002 they kidnapped Hamdaya, a 17-year-old Hebron resident, and took him onto their military jeep. During the journey, they beat Hamdaya before Lalza threw him out of the jeep at high speed. The Palestinian teen suffered severe head trauma and died as a result.