Fugitive border policeman apprehended in Eilat

Border cop convicted of killing Palestinian youth caught after fleeing prior to start of prison sentence.

Eilat 88 224 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Eilat 88 224
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Yanai Lalza, a border policeman convicted of killing a Palestinian youth in Hebron in 2002 was arrested Thursday in Eilat. On Tuesday the Police Investigation Department (PID) had launched a manhunt for Lalza after he failed to turn up to serve his prison sentence earlier this week. Their efforts came to fruition afternoon Thursday after information regarding his whereabouts came to the attention of the police. 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.