Police to Compensate Man who Was Beaten in Amona

Court rules that the police will compensate a man who was brutally beaten during the 2006 Amona expulsion in the amount of 230,000 shekels.

Elad Benari,

Violence at Amona
Violence at Amona
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled on Wednesday that the police will compensate a man who was brutally beaten during the 2006 Amona expulsion in the amount of 230,000 shekels.

The ruling settles a civil suit filed by Yishai Greenbaum who, along with his friends, was staying in one of the homes in Amona and was brutally beaten by cop Moti Mehager. Mehager was indicted four years ago on three counts of grievous assault, following an Internal Affairs investigation of his role in the unprovoked violence that bloodied at least 200 people, including two Knesset Members and more than 100 young activists.

The indictment alleged that Mehager, who served as a Commander in the police’s Judea and Samaria Division, entered the Amona home in order to evacuate its residents but “without warning and without provocation on the part of the complainants, the defendant approached them and hit them with a club, aiming at their heads and torsos, without justification and without the need to behave in the manner in which he behaved.”

During his arraignment, Mehager asked the court to cancel the indictment against him, claiming that he was only obeying orders.

“The instruction was to evacuate the building. No compromises,” he said. “That was the government's orders.”

Mehager’s lawyer claimed that in the film which documented Mehager beating the residents, it could be seen that he was “suffering from this horrible job in which he had to use force against his brothers.”

Michal Friedman, the attorney who represented the Police Investigation Unit, argued that “this was not a case of fulfilling an order, but a deviation from the orders given, since the upper body was beaten and the head was struck, while the command allowed beating only the lower body.”

The Yesha Human Rights Organization welcomed Wednesday’s verdict but criticized the conduct of the police during the proceedings. According to the head of the organization, Orit Strook, “There is an intolerable gap between the judgment of the court, which recognized the severity of the incident and the enormous damage caused to the plaintiff, and the conduct of the police. It’s important to note that the Israel Police continues to advance and back the offending officer and sends him over and over again to confront protesters.”

Last week, it was ruled that the state will pay 45,000 shekels in compensation to Benny Rahamin, an evictee from Neveh Dekalim who was beaten for no reason by a Yasam unit officer and badly injured in 2005.

The incident occurred at a demonstration that was held less than two weeks before the Disengagement from Gush Katif was carried out.

Six months ago, a court ruled that Akiva Vitkin, a nationalist who was violently beaten by police officers during an anti-disengagement protest in 2005, will be paid 45,000 shekels in compensation. The beating was caught on video by Arutz Sheva.