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Israeli police commander keeps title despite being indicted for assaulting Palestinian

July 13, 2017 5:47 P.M. (Updated: July 13, 2017 7:12 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Israeli Ministry of Justice indicted two Israeli police officers, one of whom is a police station commander, on Tuesday for assaulting a Palestinian held in handcuffs in 2016 in occupied East Jerusalem, as Israeli media reported on Wednesday that the two were not expected to be convicted.

Israeli news Channel 10 reported that, following an investigation by the Justice Ministry’s department of internal police investigation, Jerusalem police station chief Erez Tabor and police officer Tal Ben Kiki were indicted over charges of beating a Palestinian man near the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound at an unspecified date last year.

Despite the indictment, Tabor has not been removed from his commander position, and police sources told Channel 10 that neither Tabor nor Ben Kiki were expected to be convicted in the case.

Israeli newspaper Haaretz wrote on Wednesday that the Palestinian, whom it identified as Ahsan Jarrar, was detained by Tabor, Ben Kiki, and another unidentified police officer after calling out “God is Great” in Arabic upon seeing a group of Jewish Israelis entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound -- known to Jews as the Temple Mount, and a site of religious tensions in Jerusalem.

As the Palestinian laid on the ground face down and handcuffed, Tabor began kicking Jarrar in the “lower body,” the indictment reportedly read, even moving a bench out of the way to continue assaulting him.

Ben Kiki, meanwhile, reportedly pressed his foot on Jarrar’s back, before kicking the man in the upper body.

Israeli police are regularly accused of using violence against Palestinian residents of Jerusalem, most recently breaking the arm of a resident of the neighborhood of Silwan during a detention raid.

A video showing Israeli police violence against Palestinian Jerusalemites went viral in March after an Israeli police officer physically assaulted and injured several Palestinians over a parking dispute.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri claimed in a statement at the time that the video showed “dangerous and unordinary individual behavior” that did not reflect the usual conduct of Israeli police forces.

Despite al-Samri’s statement, Palestinians have long claimed that Israeli forces abuse their position of power to verbally and physically humiliate and assault Palestinians on a regular basis.

Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem routinely report mistreatment by Israeli forces, with Israeli authorities cracking down on Palestinian youths in recent years, while Palestinians have often accused Israeli forces of detaining Palestinian youths without any evidence of wrongdoing, and assaulting them in the process.
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