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Void of Responsibility Sample Case: On 13 Jan. ’09, soldiers took Yasser a-Tmeizi, father of two, from his field and led him handcuffed to Tarqumya checkpoint, where they shot him to death. For over a year, the investigation file has awaited a decision

Around 10:00 A.M. on Tuesday, 13 January 2009, Yasser a-Tmeizi and his seven-year-old son were riding on a donkey on their way to their plot of land. Shepherds from the area told B'Tselem that, around 11:00 A.M., they saw four soldiers speaking with a-Tmeizi on his land. About fifteen minutes later, the witnesses saw one of the soldiers push a-Tmeizi in the chest. A-Tmeizi pushed the soldier back, and the soldier fell to the ground. The four soldiers then knocked a-Tmeizi to the ground and tied his hands behind him. A-Tmeizi's son told B'Tselem that the soldiers ordered him to leave, but he refused. When his father told him to go home, the child left. When he got home, he told his mother that his father had had a confrontation with the soldiers.

Yasser a-Tmeizi with his children. Family photo.
Yasser a-Tmeizi with his children. Family photo. />

One of the shepherds who was passing by told B'Tselem that he saw the soldiers beat a-Tmeizi. After two or three soldiers aimed their weapons at him, he moved away and continued to watch from a distance. He claimed that the soldiers sat a-Tmeizi on the ground and one of them blindfolded him. About half an hour later, a jeep arrived and the soldiers took a-Tmeizi to it, and they left. It was later learned he had been taken to Tarqumiya Checkpoint. Later in the day, his wife was notified that he had been killed.

Ten days after the incident, Ha'aretz reported the results of the operational inquiry carried out in the company, in which the commander of the Yehuda Regional Brigade, Col. Uri Ben Moha, and the Judea and Samaria Division commander, Col. Noam Tibon, took part. The article stated that, according to the inquiry, the soldiers stopped a-Tmeizi even though he did not threaten them and was not armed. A reserve-duty soldier at the checkpoint who was supposed to watch him claimed that a-Tmeizi managed to get free and touched his weapon, so he shot him twice. At the end of the inquiry, the commanders determined that the processing of the case “entailed serious failures,” and an army official stated that, “it is a serious incident, and one cannot avoid getting the impression that if regular forces had been posted at the site, it would not have happened.”

 

On 25 January 2009, B'Tselem wrote to the office of the Judge Advocate for Operational Matters demanding an MPIU investigation. The following day, an MPIU investigator called and informed B'Tselem that an investigation was under way and requested B'Tselem's assistance in coordinating the taking of testimony of one of the shepherds. That same day, the shepherd gave his testimony at Tarqumiya Crossing./>/>

In August 2009, B'Tselem was informed that the investigation had ended and the file forwarded to the office of the Judge Advocate for Operational MattersJudge Advocate for Operational MattersJudge Advocate for Operational Matters.

B'Tselem's repeated inquiries as to the results of the investigation have gone unanswered.