Israel Decides No Criminal Charges for Police Who Seized Palestinian Girl's Bicycle

Videotaped incident in Hebron will most likely end in disciplinary action for officers after police investigation units says actions not criminal.

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Border Police officer grabs girls bike, tosses it into bushes, Hebron, July 2016Credit: B'tselem
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

The Justice Ministry's unit for investigating police officers decided Monday not to press criminal charges against two Israeli Border Patrol officers videotaped grabbing a Palestinian girl's bicycle in Hebron and tossing it to the side of the row last month.

In a statement, the unit it said it had returned the case back to police for possible disciplinary action against the officers, after determining that while the officers' conduct was improper and unprofessional, given the circumstances of the incident "there is no room for handling the incident via criminal channels."

One of the officers was suspended from the force after the incident late last month, documented by a B'tselem video camera. The footage showed two border policemen chasing a Palestinian girl, eight-year-old Anwar Burqan, of Hebron's al-Ibrahimi Street, as she rode a bicycle.

Anwar BurqanCredit: Alex Levac

It showed one of the officers picking up the bicycle and tossing it into the bushes.

Large swaths of al-Ibrahimi St. are closed to Palestinian traffic. In their defense, the officers told investigators the girl's bicycle was confiscated because she was riding in a part of the street closed to Palestinians and they wanted to protect her

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