Still Waiting for Israeli High Court Ruling

Israeli District Court says the State of Israel is responsible for death of 10-year-old Palestinian Girl.

 Dan Izenberg

August 16, 2010 – Jerusalem District Court Judge Orit Efaal- Gabay on Monday found the state guilty of negligence in the death of a 10-year-old Palestinian girl, Abir Aramin, who was struck in the head and killed after leaving school in Anata on January 16, 2007.

The case of Abir Aramin has been extensively reported in the media after her parents, Bassem and Salo Aramin, demanded that the army open a criminal investigation to discover who killed their daughter.

Bassem Aramin also became well-known as a founding member of an organization composed of former Palestinian terrorists (sic – editor’s note) and of Israeli reserve solders who refused to serve in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip known as “Fighters for Peace.”

So far, the army has refused to accept responsibility for Abir’s death, saying she was killed by a rock thrown by Palestinian protesters at a Border Police detachment that was patrolling the area around the school where the girl studied. She was killed after leaving school and buying candy together with her sister and two friends.

In her ruling, Efaal-Gabay wrote “it seems that there can be no dispute regarding the conclusion that Amir was killed by a rubber bullet that was fired by the Border Police… There is also another conclusion, that the bullet that struck Abir was fired recklessly or in violation of open-fire orders. The case is not one of having been struck by a rubber bullet fired at protesters and rock-throwers among whom stood a little girl. Abir and her friends were walking along a street where no stones were being thrown at the Border Police force.”

Abir’s parents have been making the same claim ever since their daughter was killed, but the army and the state have refused to grant the parents’ demand for a criminal investigation. As a result of the state’s refusal to order a criminal investigation, Bassem Aramin filed a petition with the High Court of Justice. The petition is still pending.

While the attorney who represented the Aramin family in the lawsuit against the state was Lea Tzemel, another lawyer for the  family told The Jerusalem Post that Monday’s district court decision would have a strong influence on the outcome of that petition.

The court’s decision on Monday established the state’s responsibility and negligence regarding Abir Aramin’s death but did not determine the amount of damages it would award for her death and for the severe psychological damage suffered by her sister Arin, who was walking with her when she was shot.

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This article first appeared in the Jerusalem Post – tj

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Filed under Community Rights, Human Rights, International Politics, Media Coverage, Middle East, Palestine, Political Accountability, Uncategorized

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