Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Suspects in killing of 10-year-old Palestinian girl not to be tried

Of course the suspects will not be tried - she was Palestinian. I mean, it's not like she was Jewish.

At first, says her father, "they said she had been wounded by a stone. I didn't believe that they would sink to such a despicable level." (Miki Kratsman)

By Avi Issacharoff and Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondents - August 1, 2007

The Jerusalem District Prosecutor's Office decided Tuesday not to indict Border Police officers suspected of being responsible for the January death of 10-year-old Abir Aramin from the West Bank village of Anata near Jerusalem.

The civil rights group "Yesh Din", which specializes in representing Palestinians whose rights have been violated by Israel's defense establishment or by Jewish settlers, announced that it will appeal the decision.

Aramin was seriously wounded in the head when she stepped out of school with her sister during recess and found herself in the midst of a confrontation between border police and young protestors.

Pathologists who conducted the autopsy on the girl's body found it difficult to determine what the cause of the girl's death had actually been. While the doctors dismissed the possibility that she was hit with a rubber bullet, they did not dismiss the possibility that she was killed by a stun grenade or rock.

Since the pathologists could not determine the cause of death, the Jerusalem prosecutors decided to close the investigation due to lack of evidence.

The investigation was conducted by the Judea and Samaria police department and not by the internal affairs division of the police department as the incident took place in the West Bank.

At the time of Aramin's death, military police would enter the village often and - according to village residents - instigate conflicts with the local residents.

Despite the death of his daughter, Basam Aramin, an activist with the non-profit organization "Combatants for Peace" decided to cooperate with the police.

In a deal struck two months after Aramin's death, it was agreed that Border Police would no longer enter the village without coordinating it first with the local residents - unless an internal emergency demanded police intervention.

Local parents and political figures agreed that if a violent confrontation with police should erupt, they would act to restore order immediately.

"Israelis are paranoid that we want to throw them into the sea with the fish but I think we need to stop focusing on the past and turn over a new leaf in our relationship," Aramin told Haaretz when the agreement was reached.

"The past is very painful for both sides. I have paid a heavy personal price - I lost my childhood in an Israeli prison and now I have lost my daughter. But from a personal and national standpoint, we mustn't remain in the past."

Also see:

Twilight Zone / 'I've lost my heart'

Girl allegedly killed by Border Police may have been hit by rock

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