Updated: Mar 9
Sunday, February 19, 2023, 11:46 In reaction to police brutality at the destruction of a vineyard near Shilo last Wednesday, Honenu Attorney Eladi Weisel stated, “The border police officers brutally abused their status. Therefore, there is no justification for them to serve in a position granting them power and authority. This serious incident must not be passed over quietly, and therefore we expect Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai to immediately dismiss these brutal police officers."
Police brutality during destruction of the vineyard; Video credit: Honenu
Attorney Weisel wrote a letter to Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai demanding that he immediately dismiss the border police officers who were recorded beating people protesting the destruction of the vineyard. Among the abuses, a protester (the complainant mentioned in the letter), was unjustifiably punched and kicked in the head. In the letter, Weisel described the incident: “Border police officers arrived at a vineyard in the Shilo Bloc for the purpose of its destruction. Settlers came to the area of the vineyard to protest the destruction of the vineyard and attempted to delay it until the issue was clarified by the political echelon whether or not the destruction was being lawfully carried out. The complainant also arrived on the scene to protest the legality of the destruction. Border police officers applied brutal force upon the complainant. He was punched many times, including in his face, even after he had been removed [from the vineyard and taken] to the road. He was choked, kneed, and kicked, one time directly and powerfully in his face.”
Attorney Weisel described the severity of the brutality: “At first, one of the police officers choked the complainant as other police officers surrounding him kicked and punched his head and the rest of his body. Afterward, they threw him onto the road. Just as the complainant fell, another police officer came and decided to ‘join the party.’ With no need, justification, or explicable connection, the police officer raised his leg and kicked the complainant hard in his face. However, the brutality was not yet over. Even after the complainant was sprawled on and pinned to the ground with three police officers leaning over him, they continued to punch him hard and repeatedly in the head.”
Attorney Weisel emphasized in his letter that the police brutality was completely unjustified and lacked judgment: “During the entire time that the police officers were beating the complainant, they did not stop for even a moment to examine whether their brutality was justified. They continued to be eager for a fight and pounded him, without discretion or proportionality. It should be emphasized that as is seen in the video clip, throughout the entire assault, the complainant did not behave wildly and was also surrounded by many police officers who gripped him from all sides. There are no grounds for erring and thinking that there was any justification or lawful purpose for the disproportionate brutality.”
In conclusion, Honenu Attorney Eladi Weisel demanded that the police commissioner dismiss these brutal police officers: “This was a serious and superfluous assault for which there is no legal justification. It is intolerable for border police officers to allow themselves to abuse their power and conduct themselves so brutally. Police officers who allow themselves to assault a passive protester so brutally and shockingly by beating him all over his body, including his face, are unsuitable for serving the State of Israel in a position that grants them power and authority. Considering the above, the police commissioner should use the authority granted him and immediately dismiss the police officers in question.”