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Israeli Border Police Officer Suspended After Throwing Palestinian Girl's Bike Into Bushes



Second officer caught on camera confiscating the bicycle from the eight-year-old goes unpunished.
Two Border Police officers were filmed driving a Palestinian girl who was riding a bicycle in Hebron away and then, once she fled, one of the two picked up her bike and threw it into the bushes. The officer who threw the bike was suspended on Tuesday.
The video that was released by human rights group B'tselem was filmed last week. It shows an officer running toward the girl, Anwar Burqan, on Hebron's al-Ibrahimi St., demanding she stop on the roadside. He steps on her bicycle after she lays them on the road and asks her some questions until she runs away crying.
After that, another officer arrives at the scene, picks up the bicycle she had left behind and throws them into the bushes. The officer that threw the bike was suspended. The conduct of the other officer is currently under investigation.
Large swaths of al-Ibrahimi St. are closed to Palestinian traffic. Apparently, the girl's bicycle was confiscated because she was riding in a part of the street closed to Palestinians.
Ranya, the girl's mother, told Haaretz that since the incident took place her daughter refuses to leave the house, is scared, and shouts. "It was a trauma that will stay with her for her whole life. I don't know for what reason that soldier attacked her. Even if she entered a place she wasn't allowed to enter, what danger or threat did she pose – she's only an eight-year-old girl." The mother added that she didn't expect that the officer would be punished or prosecuted.Schermata 2016 08 05 alle 23.27.55 Raed Abu Ramileh, the B'tselem cameraman that lives in a house overlooking the courtyard where the incident transpired, recalled, "I saw that soldier coming toward the girl and I decided to document it. It was very difficult to watch, especially when you hear the girl crying and wailing." Abu Ramileh said that this time he was able to film the incident from within his home but sometimes he is met by violence – both verbal and physical – at the hands of police officers and settlers in the area, when they see him with a camera.
The Border Police issued the following statement: "The Border Police views the incident with severity and is sorry for it. At the close of the initial investigation the Border Police commander ordered that the combatant be immediately removed from active duty. All investigative material was handed over to the Police Investigation Department [Justice Ministry’s department for the investigation of police officers], which began its investigation of the incident."

Yotam Berger
Haaretz Correspondent



Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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