West Bank  settlement - AP-  Jan. 24, 2011
The West Bank settlement of Ariel Photo by AP
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The West Bank settlement of Petza'el will pay NIS 750,000 to the family of a Palestinian who was shot to death by the settlement's security coordinator.

The shooting incident occurred in 2003, when the dead man, Ri'ak Daraghmeh, 35, of the village Tiasir, was on his way home from work by bus. The bus stopped in heavy traffic at a roadblock adjacent to the Jordan Valley settlement of Petza'el, and Daraghmeh and other Muslim laborers got off the bus to pray. Daraghmeh walked over to an area near the settlement's greenhouses to relieve himself.

The settlement's security officer, Shlomo Adir, spotted him near the greenhouses and approached him, firing several times into the air. Adir then shot the man three times at close range, later explaining that Daraghmeh was not where he was supposed to have been. Adir was charged with negligent homicide and sentenced to 200 hours of community service.

Adir's appeal of the case was rejected by the District Court and the Supreme Court.

Muhammad Dahleh, who represents Daraghmeh's family, said the family filed a civil suit after the court in Adir's criminal case imposed a punishment that the lawyer said was "ridiculously" lenient.

The civil suit was filed against the state, the settlement and Adir personally, and it's that case that has now been settled for NIS 750,000, to be paid by Petza'el, with a nominal contribution from the state.

Security officers in West Bank settlements have been the subject of controversy. Some have been targets of terrorists, and others have killed terrorists. Palestinians, however, have complained of instances other than the case of Shlomo Adir in which they said that the security officers employed by local councils have used excessive force and discharged firearms contrary to procedure, acting outside the boundaries of territory for which they are responsible and assisting in gaining control over agricultural land.