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Police will pay NIS 1 million in compensation to a Haifa woman whose boyfriend murdered their baby in the presence of two police officers eight years ago, the Haifa Magistrate's Court ruled yesterday.

The court ruled that police failed in their duty and sent two inexperienced officers to deal with the violent father. The court found the police responsible for the baby's murder in August 1999.

Concerned neighbors called the police some eight years ago to report a commotion and shouting between the women and her boyfriend, Mohammed Hatib, who was living with her and their three-month-old baby. They reported they heard sounds indicating Hatib was hitting his girlfriend and breaking furniture.

When the officers arrived, Hatib resisted arrest and attacked one of them. He then seized his child, kicked him in the stomach and threw him out a window. The baby was rushed to hospital in serious condition and died of his wounds five days later.

Hatib, who had been discharged from prison after serving 19 years for violence and robbery, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Judge Kamala Jidun said the police had dispatched only two police officers, who were serving in the police force as part of their army service and as such lacked the proper training to deal with violent incidents. The police had therefore not done enough to protect the mother and children.

In addition, she ruled that the police officers had been negligent in not arresting the father immediately upon arrival. She said the woman officer was not familiar with police procedure.