Palestinian victim of shooting and Israeli human rights organizations demand suspension of legal proceedings in Ni’lin affair

7 Aug 2008

Following the indictments filed this morning (7 August) in the Ni'lin shooting affair, the Palestinian victim and four Israeli human rights organizations demanded that the military Judge Advocate General suspend legal proceedings against both the lieutenant colonel involved and the soldier who fired the shot. The delay will enable the organizations to examine and consider challenging the decision to charge the two with the relatively light offense of “inappropriate conduct”.

Ashraf Abu Rahmeh, the Palestinian who was shot during the incident, together with ACRI, B'Tselem, Yesh Din and PCATI, stated that the measures taken against Lt. Colonel Omri Bruberg and the soldier for the shooting of a handcuffed detainee must reflect the severity of the alleged actions. The letter quotes an Israeli High Court judgement on the Yehuda Meir case from 1988:

“Harming a bound and helpless person is a shameful and cruel act, and calls for an appropriately severe response”. 

The organizations acknowledge that the chief of staff removed Lt. Colonel Bruberg from his position, that the latter will likely be barred from serving in military command positions in the future, and that the soldier has been demoted. However, command measures cannot substitute for appropriate criminal proceedings. A charge of “inappropriate conduct” for allegedly severe offenses conveys a troubling message about the value of human life and bodily integrity.