In the wake of the indictment submitted on Tuesday, charging the Arab terrorist who ran over Avraham Hasno last October with manslaughter instead of murder, a tense phone call took place between the military prosecutor and Hasno's widow.
Hasno, a 54-year-old resident of Kiryat Arba, was murdered at the Al Fawar junction near Hevron. After being ambushed by Arab rock throwers, Hasno left his vehicle to chase off his attackers, but was intentionally run over and murdered by Mahmoud At-Titi of Dahariya, near Hevron.
An Arutz Sheva analysis of photographic evidence of the incident revealed the driver, who turned himself in to Palestinian police claiming it was an accident, ran over Hasno at least twice, in an act of cold-blooded murder. After Palestinian police released him in March, Israel arrested the terrorist.
On Tuesday Judea-Samaria region military prosecutor Lt. Col. Morris Hirsh called Hasno's bereaved wife Ruti and informed her that a manslaughter indictment had been submitted against At-Titi.
At the height of the conversation, published by Walla late Tuesday night, Ruti said, "this phone call murdered us again, why didn't you consult with us?"
Just a short time earlier on Tuesday, Ruti received a phone call from a representative of the military prosecutor informing her that an indictment would be submitted soon, and in the conversation they set up a meeting Wednesday for the family to be updated.
Attorney Ofir Sabag, who represents the Hasno family, was quoted by Walla as saying that after the phone call Ruti spoke with him.
"I told her that we need to ask that I and her children also take part. I called the representative and she refused and said they (Hasno's children) are not an interested party, and she only wants to meet with the widow," said Sabag.
Shortly afterwards Hirsh called Ruti Hasno, and surprised her by saying the indictment had already been submitted, and that it did not accuse the terrorist with murder.
"My officer Gali spoke (with you) earlier today about a meeting tomorrow, for us to sit and explain about the indictment and the legal proceeding regarding Mr. At-Titi who harmed Avraham," said Hirsh.
Responding to the term "Mr." used in reference to the terrorist who murdered her husband, Ruti said, "what did you call him, Mr. At-Titi?" He responded, "yes. His name is Mahmoud At-Titi." Ruti said, "but why Mr.? That dog At-Titi, why Mr.?"
"I don't always know who I'm speaking with, so I am politically correct," said Hirsh, trying to minimize the damage. "It could even be that I agree with you a million percent."
The prosecutor explained that there were two possible indictment clauses, one on intentionally causing death and the second manslaughter, and that in the indictment only manslaughter was ascribed to the truck driver.
At that point Ruti said she didn't want to continue the conversation without her lawyer present, saying, "I don't want to talk. I'll let my lawyer talk with you, I don't…I want to end the conversation. I want to give Ofir, if he agrees, your phone number so he can call you and we'll meet together, we'll talk together."
Trying to "clean" the IDF's image
The conversation continued, however, and at a certain point Ruti asked who decided to indict At-Titi with manslaughter only, at which Hirsh said that he himself was behind the decision, and she responded by asking what he based that decision on.
Hasno's children who were with her in the car and listening to the call through the speakers broke into the conversation at that stage, with her son asking, "but who is he to decide. That's the prosecutor of the terrorist?"
Hasno's daughter then added, "the army said there was a failure here. In the end what (does he do), he comes crawling on all four in order to clean himself? That's what the army wanted? To submit an indictment like this – before writing manslaughter he needs to meet with us. What does he have to decide on? He can't submit whatever he wants. That's our dad, our dad was murdered, so he decides that it was manslaughter? Based on what?"
Sabag, the lawyer for the family, noted that they were not notified by the army.
"They let them know that they wanted to meet with Ruti without a lawyer and her children, and when she asked to meet together with the children she was told that an indictment was already submitted, even though several minutes earlier they informed that it hadn't been written," said the attorney.
"The family has a feeling of being murdered again, because of the management (of the case) and also because the indictment is only for manslaughter. The family has really hard feelings," added Sabag.
But despite the earlier refusal to let her meet with her lawyer present, in the phone call with Hirsh, when Ruti tried to set a meeting in which her lawyer would be present the prosecutor said, "I have no problem meeting with any source."
Hirsh added, "this action that I'm taking now is an action that I personally chose to take in the framework of my role for all those who had a family member killed or murdered. This isn't an action that is required in any way."
At that point Hasno's children broke in again, saying, "why is he issuing things without telling us? No one asked him to…cancel everything, we don't want it…you just want to make the IDF look clean…because of your blunder."