A7News: Kept Secret Until After Annapolis: PA Police Murdered Zoldan

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Kept Secret Until After Annapolis: PA Police Murdered Zoldan

Two PA National Security Force officers and an accomplice murdered Ido Zoldan, but the Israeli government hushed it up until after Annapolis.

  1. Kept Secret Until After Annapolis: PA Police Murdered Zoldan
  2. Olmert Sets Free 429 Convicted Arab Terrorists
  3. Three Wounded in Mortar Attack on IDF Base
  4. Temple Institute Announces: High Priest’s Crown is Ready!
  5. Olmert: Annapolis Declaration Doesn’t Mean Specific Timeline
  6. Ze’evi Assassin Gets Life Plus 100 Years
  7. DM Barak: ‘Start Enticing Jews to Leave Yesha’
  8. Knesset Members Visit Terrorist Who Crushed Jewish Girl’s Head
  9. Public Service for Policemen Who Attacked Expulsion Demonstrator

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1. Kept Secret Until After Annapolis: PA Police Murdered Zoldan

by Hana Levi Julian

The IDF and General Security Services (Shin Bet) released for publication Sunday night that two Palestinian Authority (PA) National Security Force officers and another accomplice are the ones who murdered 29-year-old Ido Zoldan on November 19.

Israeli security officials knew Zoldan was murdered by PA policemen, because two of the three terrorists who shot him to death were arrested the next day in a joint IDF and Shin Bet operation.

Some of 300 PA Police patrolling in Shechem (Nablus) as part of new security plan
Photo: Flash 90

The information was withheld until after the Annapolis summit, however, and only cleared for publication after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert returned from signing a joint declaration with PA Chairman, and acknowledged Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen).

Zoldan was shot to death by the three terrorists at approximately 11:30 pm near the PA-controlled Arab village of Funduk, near Kedumim. Magen David Adom medics who arrived at the scene tried desperately to revive him, but to no avail.

The Fatah terrorist group, Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, took responsibility for the murder and said it was carried out to protest the upcoming Annapolis conference.

Two terrorists are members of the Palestinian National Security Force in which Israel and the United States have invested money, political support, and actual weapons as part of their effort to prop up the Abbas government.

The two PA policemen and their comrade-in-arms were all members of a terrorist cell from their nearby village of Kadum, close to the northern Samaria Jewish community of Kedumim. Dafar Baram, who was apprehended along with Abdullah Baram, serves in the PA’s Ramallah police department.

The third murderer, Fadi Jama’a, also served in the PA National Security Force and was apprehended by fellow PA police. He remains in PA custody. All are 22 years old.

“The first two admitted during questioning that they were responsible for the attack and even handed over the weapons they used,” said the IDF spokesman. They also admitted to waiting in their car by the side of the road for an Israeli vehicle to pass, and when Zoldan happened along, they followed his car, firing at him at point-blank range as they drove past. “After the attack they escaped to their village,” added the spokesman.

Zoldan, a resident of Shavei Shomron, was expelled with his family from his home in Homesh when 25 northern Samaria Gush Katif Jewish towns were destroyed by then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in his 2005 Disengagement Plan. Zoldan leaves behind his wife Tehilla, his 3-year-old son Aharon and his 1-year-old baby daughter Rachel.

More Murder Attempts Sunday by Gaza Terrorists
Three IDF soldiers were wounded Sunday and a fourth suffered shock when a mortar shell hit an IDF medical clinic in the Nachal Oz military base.

A female paramedic, an ambulance driver and a combat medic were hit by shrapnel. The paramedic also suffered a broken bone.

Gaza terrorists fired five mortar shells at Israel during the attack.

In a separate incident, IDF soldiers fired a tank shell at four armed terrorists who were approaching the security fence, hitting the cell. It was not clear whether the terrorists were wounded or killed.

A salvo of approximately 13 shells was fired at a kibbutz in the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council area in the space of 15 minutes earlier in the day. Three hit the kibbutz, five exploded next to the community and several others landed near the security fence.

PA terrorists also fired a rocket on Sderot Sunday afternoon. The Kassam exploded in an open area on the outskirts of the city. A woman fainted when she heard the Color Red alert siren that sounded before the attack, and was treated for shock.

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2. Olmert Sets Free 429 Convicted Arab Terrorists

by Hillel Fendel

For the third time in less than five months, the Olmert government has released convicted Arab terrorists from Israeli prison in “goodwill” gestures to PA chief Abbas.

A total of 771 Arab terrorists have been freed since July 20 of this year. On that date, Israel released 255 terrorists from prison. Shortly afterwards, dozens of wanted Fatah terrorists were allowed to find “refuge” from Hamas in Ramallah, and another 178 were removed from Israel’s wanted lists (conditional on their cessation of terrorism).

Two months ago, on October 1, another 87 would-be murderers were freed.

Finally, Monday, no fewer than 429 terrorists – mostly of Fatah, and none from Hamas – were freed to their homes.

Shalit Still Captive in Gaza
Of this number, 21 went home to Gaza – where IDF soldier Gilad Shalit continues to be held hostage by Hamas-affiliated terrorists. Shalit was kidnapped in a cross-border raid in June 2006, in which two IDF soldiers were killed. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi has gone on record in opposition to releasing prisoners from Gaza before Shalit is released.

Ineffective Move
Though the move is designed to bolster the stature of Mahmoud Abbas within the Palestinian Authority, Voice of Israel Radio reports that the move has received little coverage in the PA. In addition, Abbas was placed on the defensive by the choice of freed prisoners, and was forced to explain that it was Israel, and not he, who determined who would be freed.

PA officials were not appreciative of the release, saying the low number of freed terrorists was “a joke.”

Official government sources emphasize that none of the freed terrorists have “blood on their hands.” It has oft been pointed out by those opposed to the releases that this means only that they did not succeed in their attempts to murder Jews.

Almagor: Free Jews!
The Almagor Terrorist Victims Association is incensed by the release. “Palestinian terrorists should never be freed before their sentences are over,” Almagor says, “but if they have been released, then Jews should be freed as well. There are only 25 Jewish prisoners… Experience has shown that 0% of Jewish security prisoners return to terrorism when freed, compared with 80% of Arab terrorists.”

As is customary in such releases, the terrorists met with International Red Cross officials and promised not to engage in terrorist activity.

Almagor cites the late President Ezer Weizmann, saying he “set a precedent ten years ago when he accepted a list of Jewish prisoners submitted by the Honenu legal-rights organization and agreed that just because they do not have supporters who kidnap soldiers for ransom purposes doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the same consideration Palestinian terrorists get.”

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3. Three Wounded in Mortar Attack on IDF Base

by Gil Ronen

Three IDF soldiers were lightly wounded Sunday and a fourth suffered from shock when a mortar shell hit a medical clinic in a military base near Gaza. The three are a female paramedic, an ambulance driver and a combat medic. All were hit by shrapnel, and the paramedic also suffered a broken bone.

The shell was part of a five-shell salvo fired by Gaza terrorists Sunday evening. A previous salvo consisted of at least eight shells: two went off inside one of the Jewish communities in the Gaza perimeter, five exploded next to the same community, and one hit near the security fence.

No one was hurt and no damage was caused in that salvo.

New terrorists on the block
A group known as the Salah a-Din Brigades announced last week that it would launch a rocket and mortar campaign against Israel as retaliation for the Annapolis conference.

According to Channel 2, another newly arrived group has begun firing rockets at Israel from Gaza: Fatah al-Islam, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda and was involved in prolonged fighting with the Lebanese army earli
“It is possible to immediately import an anti-rocket weapon system with 100% accuracy from the U.S. that will intercept these rockets.”
er this year at Nahr el-Bared.

Alon Shuster, head of the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, said Sunday: “It is possible to immediately import an anti-rocket weapon system with 100% accuracy from the U.S. that will intercept these rockets. I call upon the government to deploy this weapon as soon as possible.”

IDF has ‘freer rein’
Defense Minister Ehud Barak told the cabinet Sunday that he has given the IDF freer rein in responding to Hamas rocket fire on Israel. 22 terrorists were killed in IDF aerial and ground attacks last week.

Military sources said last week that an IDF attack on a Hamas terrorist position in Khan Yunis which killed two was the first sign of a new policy regarding Gaza terrorists. From now on, they said, the IAF will attack a random Hamas target in Gaza every time a mortar shell or rocket hits an Israeli community, and will no longer limit itself to striking the terrorists who launched the rockets.

They said that the IDF has now established that Hamas is behind all of the terror emanating from Gaza and will thus retaliate against Hamas targets regardless of which organization takes credit for terror attacks.

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4. Temple Institute Announces: High Priest’s Crown is Ready!

by Hillel Fendel

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem announces the completion of the Tzitz, the High Priest’s headplate – now ready for use in the Holy Temple.

The tzitz is made of pure gold, was fashioned over the course of a more than a year by the craftsmen of the Temple Institute, and is ready to be worn by the High Priest in the rebuilt Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

The words “Holy for G-d” are engraved on the headplate, in accordance with Exodus 28:36. A short video clip presenting the tzitz can be viewed here.

Rabbi Chaim Richman, International Director of the Temple Institute, explained to Arutz-7 that until it can actually be used, the tzitz will be on view in the Institute’s permanent exhibition display, together with other vessels and priestly garments fashioned for use in the Holy Temple by the Institute.

Legal Aspects: Impurity and Hekdesh
Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, Director of the Institute, explained some of the Halakhic [Jewish legal] aspects of the fashioning of the vessels for the Temple. “For one thing,” he said, “they are made in impurity – for now we are impure, and will remain impure until we are able to have a Red Heifer whose ashes can be used in the Torah-prescribed purification ceremony. If no Red Heifer is available, then the High Priest must even serve in the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur in a state of impurity.”

Asked whether the fact that the vessels are dedicated for the Temple does not render them hekdesh (consecrated) and therefore forbidden for any other use, Rabbi Ariel explained, “There are two stages. First of all, we make it very clear to the donors and to the craftsmen that the ultimate purpose of these vessels is not to be used for exhibitions or the like, but rather for the fulfillment of Torah commandments in the Holy Temple. They must know this in advance. However, to gain the actual status of hekdesh, we similarly make it clear that this does not happen until the vessel is actually brought in to the Temple Mount for use in the Temple. This means that someone can try on and measure the headplate, for example, without worrying that he is benefiting in any way from something that has been consecrated to the Temple.”

Menorah Moves Closer to Temple Mount
Rabbi Richman noted that in less than two weeks from now, on Rosh Chodesh Tevet, the famous Menorah (candelabrum) – suitable for use in the Holy Temple, familiar to visitors to the Cardo section of the Old City of Jerusalem – will be relocated to the landing of the wide staircase that leads down from the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall. It will be protected inside the same type of glass structure that now houses it.

The new tzitz is an improvement on one made several years ago, in that it has a backpiece, in accordance with some commentators and the account of Josephus. In addition, it has a locking mechansim so that it will not slip off the Priest’s head, and can be adjusted to fit heads of different sizes. The old one will be preserved, of course as a “spare,” in keeping with the Mishnaic account that several models of various vessels were kept in the Temple, in case the need arose to replace one.

Asked what project they’re working on at present, Rabbi Richman said, “We have begun work on 120 sets of garments for ‘regular’ priests, not the High Priest. This involves special thread from India, etc. In addition, we have begun work on architectural blueprints for the Third Temple, including cost projection, modern supplies, electricity, plumbing, computers, etc.”

Bringing G-d Into Our World
“At present,” Rabbi Richman explained, “people are in despair, and wonder if we’re not dreaming futilely while around us our leaders are planning to give the country away. We say to them: It appears that those who went to Annapolis are the dreamers, thinking that their efforts to make peace will succeed, or that the public is with them in their efforts to give away our Jerusalem, our Temple Mount, and other national historic assets.”

“We are now approaching the holiday of Chanukah,” Rabbi Richman continued, “which is the holiday that commemorates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple. We’re not just building beautiful vessels; we’re interested in granting G-d the dwelling place that He wants in this world; the Temple is not merely a building, but a way of bringing G-d into our lives in a very real way. And that is what we aim to do. This tzitz is G-d’s Chanukah present to us, and our Chanukah gift to the Jewish People.”

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5. Olmert: Annapolis Declaration Doesn’t Mean Specific Timeline

by Hana Levi Julian

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tried to convince cabinet ministers Sunday morning that his joint statement with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Annapolis last Tuesday does not mean Israel would have to meet a specific deadline for a final agreement.

Olmert told the cabinet that the statement, which calls for final status talks to be completed by the end of 2008, was not a binding commitment to a certain timetable. He claimed that the government would be able to review the statement, adding that the negotiations would be conducted according to the American Road Map plan, which he said would protect Israel’s security interests.

A number of ministers were vocal in their efforts to point out that Olmert’s assurances were in direct contradiction to the joint declaration he signed last week with Abbas and U.S. President George W. Bush.

Minister of Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman doubted Abbas’s ability to follow through on his commitments, saying, “Abu Mazen [Abbas’s nom de guerre – ed.] represents the Palestinians like I represent the Norwegians. The chances that Abbas can retake control of Gaza are very slim,” he said.

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, a member of Olmert’s Kadima party, pointed out that the Prime Minister had agreed to reach a final agreement with Abbas by 2008, leaving them with less time for serious negotiations than had been set aside for the first stage of the Roadmap.

Even if negotiations begin soon, Dichter said, Israel cannot discuss core issues such as the status of Jerusalem or the PA’s demand for Israel to accept millions of Arab refugees as citizens until the PA fulfills its Roadmap obligations, particularly the obligation to fight terrorism.

This, however, appears to stand in opposition to Olmert’s agreement to begin final-status negotiations as early as this month.

The joint declaration, read at the conference by U.S. President Bush, included a statement saying, “In furtherance of the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, we agree to immediately launch good-faith bilateral in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements. We agree to engage in vigorous, ongoing and continuous negotiations and shall make every effort to conclude an agreement before the end of 2008.”

The declaration throws into overdrive the 2003 Roadmap process that withered and died within days of the American attempt to create order out of terrorism and chaos.

The ‘Real’ Roadmap Plan, Uncut Version
The text released by the U.S. State Department on April 30, 2003, required Phase I – entitled Ending Terror And Violence, Normalizing Palestinian Life, and Building Palestinian Institutions – to be fulfilled within the first month. The agreement states: “In Phase I, the Palestinians immediately undertake an unconditional cessation of violence according to the steps outlined below; such action should be accompanied by supportive measures undertaken by Israel…. “

By the end of that initial process, according to the document, “Palestinian leadership issues an unequivocal statement reiterating Israel’s right to exist in peace and security and calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to end armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere. All official Palestinian institutions end incitement against Israel.”

Discussions on provisional borders for a PA state, in Phase II, were not to begin until Phase I had been successfully implemented. Phase III, which includes final status talks rested upon successful completion of the tasks in Phase II.

Included in the document was a section in Phase I outlining an agreement that “Arab states cut off public and private funding and all other forms of support for groups supporting and engaging in violence and terror,” among other requirements.

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6. Ze’evi Assassin Gets Life Plus 100 Years

by Gil Ronen

The Jerusalem District Court sentenced PFLP terrorist Hamdi Qur’an to life in prison and another 100 years jail time, for the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rechavam Ze’evi in 2001 and other terrorist offenses. Qur’an, 33, is from El-Bireh, north of Jerusalem.

Qur’an admitted that he received instructions to murder Ze’evi from Majdi Rimani, who was his superior in the PFLP, in early 2001. Two other terrorists took part on the operation: Ahed Rulama, who planned it, and Basel Asmar, who provided cover for the killer, Qur’an.

Terrorists surrender, Operation “Havaat Bikurim,” Purim 2006.
Aviv Dibon, IDF Spokesman

‘A blow struck at a national symbol’
“The murder of a government minister is not just the murder of a man, but also a blow struck at a national symbol and a blow at its sovereignty,” Judges Moshe Ravid, Orit Efal-Gabai and Aharon Farkash wrote in their verdict. They noted that Qur’an had voiced no regret but “brazenly made false statements to justify his deeds” and said that he would not hesitate to do them again in the future. “There can be no justification for these deeds,” the judges wrote. They sentenced him to life in jail for the assassination.

Qur’an’s conviction included additional terrorist-related offenses, for which he was sentenced to the additional 100 years in jail.
When Ze’evi came out of the elevator door Qur’an called out to him and then shot him in the head three times from close range.

Caught on Purim
Qur’an was caught by IDF forces in Jericho during the Jewish holiday of Purim in March, 2006, after he had been held by the PA. The IDF operation was called “Havaat Bikurim” (a reference to the mitzvah of bringing the year’s first harvests to the Jewish Temple). He was brought to Israel for trial along with three other members of his cell, all of whom have already been sentenced.

In the course of 2001, the four-man cell placed car bombs and other explosive charges in Jerusalem. In September they were chosen to assassinate Minister Ze’evi in revenge for the killing of Abu Ali Mustafa, the PFLP’s leader.

On October 16, they arrived at the Hyatt Hotel in Jerusalem, where they knew Ze’evi regularly stayed, and booked a room. After 6 A.M. Qur’an left the room and went down to the dining room, to make sure Ze’evi was there. He then went up to the eighth floor, where Ze’evi’s room was, and waited for him together with Asmar. When Ze’evi came out of the elevator door Qur’an called out to him and then shot him in the head three times from close range. Ze’evi’s wife found him a short time later and called the emergency services. At 10:00 Hadassah Hospital announced his death.

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7. DM Barak: ‘Start Enticing Jews to Leave Yesha’

by Hillel Fendel

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, head of the Labor Party and still hoping to be Israel’s next Prime Minister, has once again surprised observers with a sharp swing to one side of the political spectrum. After hinting several times that the time is nearing for a sharp military strike against Gaza, he now says he plans to promote a bill enticing Jews of Judea and Samaria to leave their homes, in exchange for financial compensation.

“The Labor Party plans to raise this topic in future Cabinet meetings,” Barak said, “in order to enable the settlers not to wait until the last moment” to leave their homes. A bill of this nature has already been proposed by Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan and Labor MK Collette Avital, and has been promoted by the far-left Peace Now organization.

Nationalist Camp Responds
Barak’s attempt to begin emptying Judea and Samaria (Yesha) of its Jews had the nationalist camp up in arms. The expelled residents of Gush Katif, the vast majority of whom have still not recovered from their expulsion well over two years ago, say, “Instead of trying to solve the problems of those who were already expelled under a law of this type, and who still live in temporary quarters and suffer from other problems, Barak is trying to create more problems like this. He is simply running away from dealing with the problems.” So announced the Gush Katif Residents Committee.

MK Elon: Transfer of Jews = Danger to Security
MK Benny Elon (National Union) said that Barak and the left-wing want to erode the inner strength of the Yesha settlement enterprise and ease the way for the government to expel the Jews. “This is based on the false premise that our conflict with the Arabs is because of the settlements, and that once they disappear, peace floods in. But this has been proven wrong in Gaza, where the flowering Jewish towns have been replaced by Hamas institutions working to perpetuate the armed struggle against Israel forever.”

In addition, Elon emphasizes, Barak is ignoring the fact that the army has not left northern Shomron, even though it too was included in the Disengagement – “because the presence of the IDF there, and in Ramallah, and Shechem, and Jenin, prevents those areas from falling into the hands of Hamas. All of our security experts agree that without the IDF in Ramallah, Hamas would be in charge there as well and there would have been no one to shake hands with at Annapolis… Without Jewish towns, the IDF will feel foreign and temporary, as occurred in Lebanon; whoever truly wants peace and stability in Judea and Samaria must strengthen Jewish settlement there, not weaken it.”

NRP and More
The National Religious Party had a sharp reaction. “Barak wants to empty out Judea and Samaria of its Jews in order to make room for the millions of Arab ‘refugees’ [whom he and Olmert are] planning to bring in, thus magnifying the existential threat looming over the State of Israel,” said the party’s Secretary-General, Sar-Shalom Jerbi.

The Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria said, “The Defense Minister would be better advised to deal with solutions for Israel’s real security problems, such as Kassams at Sderot and the Iranian threat, instead of how to throw Jews out of their homes.”

MK Tzvi Hendel (National Union) said, “Why stop in Yesha? Barak’s policies affect many citizens. Maybe also those of Sderot, Ashkelon, and Kiryat Shmonah should be offered money to leave.”

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8. Knesset Members Visit Terrorist Who Crushed Jewish Girl’s Head

by Gil Ronen

Members of the Knesset’s Interior Committee held a meeting with two of the top Arab terrorists being held in Israeli jails, Marwan Barghouti and Samir Kuntar, during a tour of the Hadarim jail.

Barghouti: prisoner release is “a joke”
Barghouti told his visitors that Monday’s release of about 400 prisoners was “a joke.” He told the head of the committee, MK Ophir Pines (Labor), that Israel could have easily released 8,000 prisoners and that the prisoners released were due to be released in a few months’ time anyways.

Barghouti complained that he and other prisoners are not given access to a telephone. MK Pines interceded on his behalf later and asked the Chief Warden of the Prison Service why Yigal Amir had his own cell phone and the Arab terrorists did not.

Kuntar said the Prison Service’s treatment of the prisoners is humane and based on mutual respect.
Two-year-old Yael Haran was accidentally suffocated to death by her mother’s attempts to stifle her crying.
Asked by MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) whether he regretted the deed that landed him in jail he said: “I do not regret it. The question is not personal. This is a collective conflict.”

Barghouti was a top commander in the Fatah terror group. He was arrested by a special IDF force in Ramallah, on April 15, 2002. Several months later, he was indicted in civilian court on charges of murder and attempted murder stemming from attacks carried out by the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades on Israeli Druze soldiers.

Kuntar smashed Einat’s head
Barghouti was convicted on May 20, 2004 of five counts of murder. He was acquitted of 21 counts of murder in 33 other attacks for which the judges determined he only bore “moral responsibility,” but no direct responsibility. On June 6, 2004, he was sentenced to five life sentences for the five murders and forty years imprisonment for the attempted murder.

Samir Kuntar participated in a terrorist attack on Israel in 1979 and was convicted by his admission for killing of four Israelis. Kuntar and his associates reached Israel by boat, and killed a policeman whom they encountered. They entered a residential apartment and took twenty-eight-year old Danny Haran hostage along with his four-year-old daughter, Einat. The mother, Smadar Haran, hid in a crawl space above the bedroom with her two-year-old daughter Yael, and a neighbor.

Kuntar’s group took Danny and Einat down to the beach, where Kuntar shot Danny at close range in front of his daughter and drowned him in the sea to ensure he was dead. He then smashed the four year old girl’s head on beach rocks and crushed her skull with the butt of his rifle, killing her.

Two-year-old Yael Haran was accidentally suffocated to death by her mother’s attempts to stifle her crying, so that they would not be found by Kuntar’s group.

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9. Public Service for Policemen Who Attacked Expulsion Demonstrator

by Hillel Fendel

The Tel Aviv Magistrates Court sentenced two policemen on Thursday to three and six months of public service, respectively, for having brutalized an “orange” (anti-Disengagement) protestor in 2005. Most of the evidence was provided by an on-site video taken by Arutz-7 Russian site editor Tuvia Lerner.

Eran Naim was sentenced to six months of service, and Eliran Avraham will serve for three months. They were found guilty six months ago of beating demonstrator Akiva Vitkin without cause during an anti-Disengagement road-blocking demonstration on June 29, 2005. Both were Yassam-unit policemen, and Naim was dismissed from the force after the incident in question. Naim is seen in the video pulling Vitkin’s nose from behind by sticking his fingers in his nostrils and pulling up, and Avraham later beat Vitkin repeatedly in the police station.
For them to lose their jobs is an obvious consequence, so that they will not be able to continue hitting people as they did me. But this is not a [sufficient] punishment…

Lawyers for the policemen had claimed that the “fingers-in-the-nostrils” trick is a legitimate police tactic against demonstrators, and complained that justice had not been served. “These two policemen lost their jobs, and other policemen will hesitate next time to fulfill their duty and disperse demonstrators,” one lawyer lamented. Naim himself complained that he had only done “what I was taught,” and that the police had abandoned him, while Avraham said, “We are victims of the Disengagement.”

The attacked demonstrator, Akiva Vitkin, said afterwards, “For them to lose their jobs is an obvious consequence, so that they will not be able to continue hitting people as they did me. But this is not a punishment; the punishment should have been that they must sit in jail; that seems to me to be clearly necessary.”

Orit Strook, of the Yesha Civil Rights organization, said after the conviction that the judge had ruled that police may use reasonable force when in danger or to make an arrest – but not as punishment. It was Strook’s organization, together with Atty. Nadav HaEtzni, that filed the suit against the policemen.

Officer Eran Naim was caught on tape by Arutz-7’s Lerner taking part in what Lerner later said was a “cruel, shocking and pre-meditated attack.” Despite attempts by the police to obstruct his view, Lerner managed to film the attack on a digital camera. Naim is first seen motioning to his colleagues to help beat the demonstrator, after which they sit on him and stick their fingers in his nose and mouth, causing extensive bleeding and facial injuries. Naim is also seen beating 58-year-old Rabbi Dr. Yisrael Katz, after the latter asked Naim to stop beating girls present at the road-blocking.

Lerner said, “Through the screen of my camera I saw the officer, wearing a name tag with the name Eran Naim, go behind the demonstrator, go on top of him, and stick his full hand towards his face. He stuck his fingers into the man’s nostrils and pulled upwards and backwards in a fast and professional way, and tore his whole face, including a blow at his eyes.” Lerner said he later saw Naim go to the side and wipe the blood off his hands.
A policeman, as one who enforces the law, must serve citizens by protecting them – and not by becoming an additional source of threat and fear

Judge Chanan Efrati ruled, “Violence is always a terrible ill that must be uprooted from roots, or else we will quickly find ourselves living in a society in which the strong and violent imposes his will on the weak… A policeman, as one who enforces the law, must serve citizens by fulfilling the law and protecting them – and not as an additional source of threat and fear. Each of the defendants, via his actions, harmed the relationship of trust that must reign between the public and its policemen.”

The judge further said, “The limits for use of enforcement means must be clear and rigid; the instructions and guidelines must be precise, well-known to policemen and internalized by them.”

The Yesha Civil Rights Organization praised the judge for his ruling, but said that the light sentence “did not jibe” with it. “Public service works are not sufficient to punish the severe violence that occurred or to deter against it. The Police Department’s Unit for Complaints Against Policemen must appeal the sentence so that justice will be both served and seen.”

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Monday, Dec. 03 ’07
23 Kislev 5768

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