Officer Who Struck Israeli Arab Rights Activist Placed on Compulsory Leave

Officer L., who, according to Jafar Farah, broke his leg, was questioned last week by the Justice Ministry's Police Internal Investigations and removed from the service

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Jafar Farah, May 2018.
Jafar Farah, May 2018. Credit: Rami Shllush
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

The Israel Police announced Monday that the police officer suspected of beating human rights activist Jafar Farah after his arrest during a demonstration in the northern city of Haifa was placed on compulsory leave. According to a statement, the investigation into the case of officer L. continues, and by the end will "administrative and/or disciplinary measures will be considered accordingly."

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In response to the police announcement, Farah said, "Three police officers attacked detainees in front of other officers, two of whom threatened the medical staff at Bnei Zion Medical Center.  I expect the police and the police commissioner to bear responsibility for the events in Haifa. I expect him, from the district commander, from the commander of the Haifa police station and the commander of the police's Yassam unit to apologize to all the detainees who were arrested and beaten and humiliated without a legal basis. "

L. was interrogated by the Justice Ministry's Police Internal Investigations Department last week and was later released under restrictive conditions, including his removal from service for several days. "The Israel Police continues to investigate the violent riot of demonstrators, during which 21 suspects were arrested for public order offenses and other offenses in order to arrive at the truth."

Twenty-one Israeli Arabs protesting the killing of more than 60 Palestinians in Gaza protests on the border were arrested last Friday in Haifa. Dozens participated in a demonstration in the city's lower commercial area. 

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Farah said that L. beat him while he was in custody. "He got to my leg and broke it," Farah said during the court hearing

L. denied that he had taken violent action against Farah, but other testimonies described his abuse during and after the arrest of the demonstrators.

Farah's son, Bisan, said that L. picked him up by force and then knocked him down. Amar Abu Qandil, one of the detainees, added that after he had commented on the treatment of the demonstrators, the officer threatened him and spat at a group of detainees. Ali Mawasi, who was also detained at the police station, claimed that L. told the detainees, "Today we will make a feast with you, we will fuck you." He called them "sons of bitches" and spat at them.

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