State retracts assault indictment

Tuesday, June 9, 2020, 9:13 The State of Israel had indicted B. for the most minor degree of assault of a truck driver and a security guard at the goods crossing at Kerem Shalom one year previously. After examining video clips from the security cameras and interrogating witnesses, who supported B.’s claim of self-defense, the State retracted the indictment.

Kerem Shalom crossing incident; Video credit: Investigative file
Approximately one year ago a sort of demonstration took place at the Kerem Shalom goods crossing. During the incident, one of the truck drivers got out of his truck, and approached a gathering of youths as he waved a large indistinct object, which turned out later to be a spanner wrench. The driver walked among the youths as he shouted and waved the shiny object, which was understandably mistaken for a knife, in a threatening manner.
B., who was sitting in his car at the time, noticed the commotion, quickly exited his car and ran towards the disturbance. He stated that when he stopped to look at what was happening, he understood from what he heard that a man was threatening the youths with a knife. B. tried to stop the truck driver by hitting him twice with the pole of a flag that one of the youths in the gathering was holding.
Then one of the security guards at the site separated B. and the truck driver and the police arrived. In the course of the investigation of the incident, B. was indicted for the most minor degree of assault on the truck driver and on the security guard. After Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski, who is representing B., received access to the investigative material and the video clips from the security cameras at the site, it became obvious to him that there had been a mistake.
From the start Poleski was of the opinion that there were no grounds for the indictment: “This indictment was filed out of negligence, and without the accuser understanding what had occurred during the incident. The evidence in the case shows that the truck driver got out of his truck with a spanner wrench in his hand, and he himself admitted that he took this object in order to threaten those present at the site and deter them.”
Poleski added that the truck driver “brought about the escalation of the incident and the concern of those present at the scene that he held a knife in his hand, and that he intended to harm someone in his surroundings. Those present at the scene and even a security guard who attempted to calm the raging truck driver, asked him, to no avail, to take the dangerous object out of his hand.”
Then B. arrived on the scene: “He heard the commotion and the shouts of those present, and in a rapid movement, in a matter of seconds, took a [flag] pole from someone at the scene and hit the truck driver, who was acting wild, and thus knocked the object from his hand.”
Honenu Attorney Moshe Poleski stated that when the head of the prosecuting team examined the case file, she understood immediately that there were no grounds for filing the indictment, “if only for the fact that the truck driver who had caused the entire incident had not been indicted, and that is even without examining the claim of self-defense by the defendant. Better late than never, but it is expected that an indictment would be filed only after thorough examination of the evidence and not in haste, which frequently leads to defendants being brought to trial through no fault of their own.”

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