An Israeli court has convicted two police officers of negligent homicide in the death of a Palestinian man who was left to die on the side of a road.
On Monday, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court convicted Assaf Yekutieli and Baruch Peretz of causing the death of Omar abu-Jribran by dumping him on the side of a highway without leaving him any food or water.
Abu-Jribran, a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip, was injured in a car accident in Israel in 2008 and was hospitalized in a medical center. He was later released from the hospital into police custody and was to be transferred to the Palestinian territories.
But the two policemen left him at the side of a road near the Ofer military base in the occupied West Bank without ensuring he had food or water. Abu-Jribran, who was still wearing hospital pants, was unable to walk and died of dehydration and his body was discovered two days later.
"The defendants were closed off to the distress of a human being and left him to his fate in circumstances that any reasonable human being would have avoided and refrained from doing," said Judge Haim Li-Ran in an almost 1,000-page ruling.
"The decision to drop this detainee in the circumstances that he was dropped off under, in the unlikely assumption that he would be picked up, is negligent. A reasonable person with eyes in his head and compassion in his heart would not accept these circumstances," Li-Ran said.
Abu-Jribran’s sister, Kipah, who was not optimistic that the court’s ruling would lead to an appropriate punishment, said that "with all due respect to Jews, you treated him like an animal," adding, "When one of yours is in distress, like Gilad Shalit, the whole world acts on his behalf."
"How would you react if it was your own brother," Kipah abu-Jribran said, adding that her brother was "hospitalized in a well-known hospital, and everyone knows that patients are treated well and with respect, but my brother was kicked out."
Referring to the conviction, Kipah said, "We know how it is in Israel, they will probably get released in several months."
A sentencing date was not set.