Israel Charges Police Officer for Assaulting Palestinian, Ripping Her Hijab Off

'The suspect grabbed the complainant and ripped her hijab off her head and then pulled her hair,' states an indictment against an officer who allegedly assaulted a Palestinian in Jerusalem

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A Border Police Officer at Jerusalem's Lion Gate.
A Border Police Officer at Jerusalem's Lion Gate.Credit: Emil Salman

The Police Internal Investigations Department pressed charges Tuesday against a female Border Police officer for attacking a Palestinian youth in Jerusalem's Old City.

The indictment, which was filed to the Jerusalem Magisters Court, charges Orian Ben Califa with assault and obstruction of justice. 

The indictment was filed after Ben Califa allegedly blocked the Palestinian youth and her brother in November near the Lions' Gate using her body and then pushed the youth while she tried to protest.

According to the indictment, the girl’s brother said something to the officer, and she responded by pulling his collar. When the girl tried to intervene, Ben Califa assualted her. “The suspect… grabbed the complainant and ripped her hijab off her head and then pulled the complainant’s hair, hit her behind her ear and knocked her to the ground'” the indictment reads.

The indictment further states that the police officer took the girl to the police post, where she shouted at her, choked her, and shook her. The police officer then handcuffed the complainant and led her to a police car. The girl was subsequently arrested and kept in remand overnight. Ben Califa is accused of obstruction of justice by filing a false report, writing that the girl scratched and pushed her. 

Attorney Shely Eran filed the indictment. Ben Califa is represented by attorney Itzik Cohen who denied the accusations against his client and said he had yet to receive evidence from the prosecution. “I believe that she will be found not guilty by the court,” Cohen said.

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