Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 7:55 A border policewoman who slapped an eight-year-old boy in the Kumi Ori neighborhood of Yitzhar has been convicted in a disciplinary trial and “severely reprimanded”. Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado filed a compensation suit on behalf of the boy’s parents.
In October 2019, the border policewoman, who was stationed in Kumi Ori, was filmed slapping the boy. A video clip documenting the incident shows several children standing near two border policewomen and shouting at them. Then suddenly one of them gets up, grabs one of the children, slaps him in the face and says, “Of course you would say that.”
According to the statement of defense submitted by the police in the compensation suit, the border policewoman who slapped the boy was interrogated by the Police Investigation Unit (PIU) on the day following the incident. In the interrogation she denied that she had slapped the boy: “And also I didn’t give him a smack.” The interrogator then confronted her with the video clip which had been publicized: “You have been documented in a video clip giving the boy, a minor, a slap to his face, a smack to his face. It doesn’t matter from which angle [it was filmed].” The border policewoman repeated her denial several times: “That wasn’t a smack.”
The border policewoman slapping the boy; Video credit: Tiferet Simha Picard
However, her commander and also one of the members of her squad testified that she had slapped the boy. During a PIU interrogation her squad member said: “We were sitting in the tent. S. walked out, grabbed the boy and gave him a smack. He had said something to her, but I don’t remember what it was, and because of that she went out to him.”
After the interrogations, the PIU decided to put the border policewoman on disciplinary trial. She was tried by a commander of the Alon Battalion and admitted to the facts and the charges against her. She was convicted of use of force on a person in the course of carrying out her duties and severely reprimanded.
At the time of the incident, the army had recently declared Kumi Ori a closed military zone. This status greatly inconveniences the residents and to this day they are required to present an ID card whenever they enter or exit the neighborhood. Neighbors from other parts of Yitzhar, baby-sitters and visiting relatives are not permitted to enter the neighborhood.
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado: “The purpose of the suit is the creation of a deterrence factor to prevent injury to Jewish residents of Yehuda and Shomron, adults and children, by the border police. Unfortunately we see, every day, the hesitancy of the security forces to use force on Arabs in the same regions. Soldiers and policemen stand immobile, very often not responding at all, opposite Arab rioters who degrade and injure them, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails. This situation must be reversed. The border police must be taken aback by injury to the Jewish residents of Yehuda and Shomron, whom they are obligated to defend. They must be supported by all ranks of the IDF and have an inner conviction to fight the Arabs.”