The police Internal Investigations Department has announced it will stand on criminal trial an officer suspected of hitting a child from Yitzhar in Samaria, with an indictment for assault to be submitted in the coming days.
The suspected assault occurred around a year-and-a-half ago. The child, identified in a TV report as Y. and who was 11-years-old at the time, was arrested by officers in the Sha'ar Binyamin industrial area when he and his sister were on their way to a wedding.
The officers claimed that Y. punctured the tires of cars belonging to Arab residents, and wrote on them "death to Arabs" and "price tag revenge" with a marker. Even after being taken into the police station for investigation, the child firmly denied any connection with the incidents.
At this point, Y. charges that the officer struck him and slapped him in the face, while other officers shouted at him and threatened that if he didn't confess he would be sent to jail for a long time.
After he was released, the 11-year-old together with his father submitted a complaint to the Internal Investigations Division of the police, during the processing of which Y. was brought in for a polygraph test that confirmed he was telling the truth.
By contrast, the suspected officer refused to take a polygraph test, with his unwillingness to confirm his story strengthening the suspicions that he broke the law.
"It isn't enough"
Last week the police informed Y.'s family that they had decided to put the officer on trial and indict him for assault.
The Honenu legal aid group that helped Y. during his arrest responded "we welcome the decision to stand the officer on criminal trial, but this step isn't enough and comes after a great delay."
"The violent officer should have been removed from the police immediately, and we call to remove him from the services at the very least form the submission of the indictment against him," stated Honenu.
Honenu said that violence by Judea and Samaria region police against Jewish residents is unfortunately "a routine occurrence," calling for a house cleaning in the district police to eradicate the phenomenon.
Channel 1 released an interview on the case, in which Y.'s mother Michi Amitai said "I think the state of Israel deserves police who are fairer, better and more ethical than what we have today. I really hope this incident will cause each officer to think twice about how to behave."
MK Orit Struk (Jewish Home) told the channel that this is far from the first such case, and that she hopes justice will be carried out.
Meanwhile the child who was assaulted said he hopes the incident will teach officers that "settlers are people with rights and they're human too," preventing them from continuing to treat Jewish residents of the region like "second class citizens."
The Channel 1 piece in Hebrew can be seen here.