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Police on Amona Trampling: 'Horse Had Psychological Stress'

The horse that trampled a protestor at the 2006 protest at Amona was “under intense psychological pressure,” testified a police official Thursday.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 10/26/2007, 9:37 AM

Police Superintendent Peri Margalit testified Thursday there may have been extenuating circumstances to explain why mounted police officer David Edry trampled a protestor during the February 2006 beating and forcible eviction of Jews at the Amona community.

Edry is charged with deliberately attacking protestor Yehuda Etzion.

Margalit testified during Edry’s trial that although police horses rarely injure humans, “the horse was under intense psychological pressure” at the time.

Etzion was knocked down and bloodied by Edry’s horse (after apparently being struck by its hoof) during the violent evacuation of the protestors by thousands of YASAM (Special Riot Police) officers and other police officers, in a scene that was caught on video tape.

While Margalit focused on the behavior of the horse and not the officer, he nonetheless added that Edry should have succeeded in controlling the situation. Mounted officers must know how to stop horses or veer them away from potential victims, he said.

The Supreme Court handed down a decision in July barring Edry from keeping order at other demonstrations until the end of his trial. The ruling followed a complaint by the Yesha Organization for Human Rights. Justices expressed surprise that the State had not issued a similar order earlier.

A number of other ugly incidents of police brutality were caught on tape during the protest in which some 200 Amona residents and Jewish demonstrators were injured, several seriously. Among the wounded was Knesset Member Effie Eitam whose face was bloodied after he was struck in the head by a police baton and MK Ariel Eldad whose arm was broken by police.

Thousands of protestors and police officers clashed at the scene after the government decided to demolish nine stone structures in the budding community near Ofra, north of Jerusalem. The structures were subsequently destroyed.

New Visitors' Center to Open on the Amona Hilltop
For Land of Israel faithful who were disillusioned by what they saw as a halfhearted struggle against the Disengagement from Gaza, the violent event at Amona has come to symbolize a more determined form of struggle against the expulsion of Jews from Judea and Samaria.

The community of Amona will inaugurate the “Mountains Settlement Visitors Center” this coming Tuesday, October 30. The festivities will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information about the event, call +972-53-641-8643 or email aamona@gmail.com .