Report: Afula chief violated rules in case of policewoman beating

Against procedure, policewoman was sent on patrol without another regular police officer.

An internal report revealed Monday that an attack on a 19-year-old policewoman followed a decision by her commander to deploy the teen against the rules and without proper backup. The report, which will most likely be reviewed by Israel Police Chief Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi later this week, highlighted the fact that Afula Station chief Dep.-Cmdr. Orly Malka violated police procedure in deploying the policewoman - a draftee carrying out mandatory service with the police instead of the IDF. The policewoman was paired up with a municipal inspector rather than with a regular police officer in the patrol car. According to police procedure, neither one is allowed to carry out patrol assignments without being paired with a regular police officer. The report also cited the municipal inspector's initially slow reaction that allowed the attack to continue unmitigated. The brutal beating occurred on Friday night in the parking lot of the Afula nightclub, Cue Bar, and was captured on videotape. One suspect held the policewoman down while the other assailants beat and kicked her repeatedly. A young woman, four of her friends, and her father and brother are all suspected of attacking the policewoman after she reprimanded the young woman for her behavior and demanded that she present an identity card. Ultimately, police backup arrived at the scene, and the suspects were arrested. Malka has argued that the decision was more complex than it appeared. Her station's manpower resources had been drained by the need to send officers to reinforce Jerusalem District police during the gay pride rally, as well as the necessity of deploying officers to control the crowd at a demonstration in Wadi Ara. But rather than easing up on the usual Friday night deployment, Malka was also forced to respond to the high alert level warning of terror attacks in revenge for the IDF strike in Bet Hanun earlier in the week. Such a terror warning could not be taken lightly in Afula, the site of many previous terror attacks due to its proximity to the terror hotbed of Jenin. Malka said she decided to deploy seven patrol cars, rather than the usual four, to secure entertainment spots and patrol the Jezreel Valley city. But the manpower constraints left the Afula police a few career police officers short of the number required to heighten police presence in the city. "The subdistrict commander thinks still that Malka acted wisely," said one Amakim Subdistrict staff officer, explaining that subdistrict commander Asst.-Cmdr. Yaakov Zigdon supported the decision to deploy the two together, despite the regulations against it. "We were operating in 'war condition' due to the alert levels and the manpower shortages." On Tuesday, the report will be handed over to Northern District Cmdr. Dan Ronen, who will review the conclusions. Ronen is expected to pass the report on to Insp.-Gen. Karadi. Karadi has already taken an active interest in the incident and it's implications. In his weekly meeting with the general staff of the police force Monday, he addressed the matter, saying that he sees the incident as quite serious and that he instructed Ronen to ensure that the assailants were prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Even as the nation's top cop advocated the assailants' prosecution, a Nazareth Magistrate's Court extended by five days the remand of the young woman whom police said is the central suspect in the attack. All of the suspects are in jail, and police say that they expect indictments to be filed against the assailants in the coming days.