Honenu head: "Why handcuff soldiers for fighting the enemy?"

Honenu legal aid organization head Shmuel Meidad says soldiers who risked their lives should not be indicted for firing on Arab rioters.

Yoel Domb,

Shmuel Meidad
Shmuel Meidad
צילום: מרים אלסטר, פלאש 90

The head of the Honenu organization dedicated to providing legal aid to soldiers and civilians facing lawsuits from the State, Shmuel Meidad, referred Wednesday morning to a plea bargain agreement between the State and attorney Tzion Amir representing Border policeman Ben Dari who is accused of killing an Arab who was throwing stones at Border policemen in Beitunia about two and a half years ago.

"We have gone mad," said Meidad. "Again and again fighters in the IDF and the Border Police are returning in handcuffs from the battlefield. We must remember whom we are talking about. The 'victim' was an Arab throwing stones together with hundreds of other Arabs with the intent of harming soldiers."

"If a fighter contravenes regulations this can be determined within his military framework "but the State is demanding a jail sentence for a fighter who risked his life for our security, and this is usually a result of external pressure from foreign and hostile parties."

Yesterday Channel 2 reported that a plea bargain had been reached in the case of Ben Dari, who was charged with killing a Palestinian youth and will be convicted of causing death by negligence.

Dari, who was serving as a squad commander in Border Police at the time of the event, claimed that he shot rubber bullets but in the framework of the plea bargain agreement he is expected to admit to causing death by negligence. In the amended indictment it will be written that a live bullet got mixed into a cartridge of rubber bullets. The plea bargain agreement is expected to be signed in the coming weeks but it is not final and it had not been agreed yet what sentence will be handed down on the fighter.

The indictment states that from evidence gathered it appears that in contrast to the accused's version of events, claiming that he fired rubber bullets in accordance with orders he received, he had actually intentionally fired live bullets at the center of the body of the Arab, intending at least to cause grievous bodily harm. He also may have anticipated the death of the Arab and tried to hide his actions at the time.

The Beitunia shooting incident occurred on Nakba day 2014 (May 14, the day the State of Israel was founded is known as Nakba day or 'catastrophe day' by the Arabs) and is a day of riots and disturbance of the peace. It was documented on camera, receiving much publicity in local and international media.

In response to the reports attorney Tzion Amir representing Dari said that "We will not respond until the final stage of the trial. Despite this we are satisfied that the State is finally reneging on its claims after two and a half years of trial."