Updated: Feb 1, 2022
Sunday, August 15, 2021, 11:12 The disciplinary department of the Israeli Police has indicted Yassam policeman Or Kalfon for assaulting a youth at a protest after the death of Ahuvia Sandak, z”l in a police car chase. Kalfon is charged with excessive use of force against an individual. However the bill of indictment describes a much more minor incident, and does not mention “a fist punch,” and Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado is of the opinion that the description of the incident is deficient.
The fist punch; Video credit: Yedidya Grossman The incident occurred in February, during a demonstration opposite the home of Internal Security Minister Amir Ohana demanding an external investigative committee to examine the circumstances of the death of Sandak. A video clip recorded at the demonstration shows a Yassam policeman punching a minor in the face with enough force for him to be thrown backwards. There were no grounds for the assault. On behalf of the assaulted minor, Honenu filed a suit against the policeman. In the suit, the photographer of the video clip formally declared the identity of the policeman, which he verified with the assistance of other video clips from the same protest. The policemen at the protest were all wearing face masks in accordance with coronavirus regulation, and therefore it was not possible to identify the offending policeman from only the video clip documenting the assault. Below are excerpts from the statement of claim: “The grounds for the suit as detailed in the statement of claim are assault, negligence, the injustice of breach of statutory duty and violently depriving the complainant of his freedom of protest.” “The complainant was caused a great injury. He suffered from dizziness, numerous pains, and distress from the violent conduct against him. The incident was documented in a video clip which corroborates the [written] account of the incident. A Yassam policeman is seen in the video clip aggressively and brutally assaulting the complainant.” Yado mentioned the complainant’s previous head injury: “Approximately half a year before the assault, the minor was the victim of a terror attack during which a large rock was thrown at his head. As a result of the attack, the complainant was hospitalized with a serious head injury and classified fatally injured. However, miraculously the complainant survived the attack. Due to the cranial injury the complainant had cranial plates implanted, which fortunately were not hit when he was punched in the head and considerably more damage was not caused.” A disciplinary indictment has been filed against Kalfon at the Jerusalem Disciplinary Court. The bill of indictment describes the incident thus: “[the Yassam policeman] pushed the protester back as he hit him in the face with his right hand, and the minor moved back. The defendant, by hitting the minor in the face with his hand, used excessive force.” Yado is of the opinion that details of the incident were altered in the bill of indictment. Yado sent a request to the prosecution, writing that “the current written record regarding hitting the minor’s face with the defendant’s right hand lacks the main point, and that is that the blow was a fist punch, and that should be in writing” Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado, who is representing the minor, strongly criticized the lenient indictment: “Allowing the disciplinary department of the police to indict policemen who have assaulted is tantamount to allowing the cat to guard the cream. Everyone who reads this bill of indictment will see that the police are protecting policemen who assaulted a minor at a protest, and not showing any motivation to bring them to justice and to rectify the violent method of operation of the Israeli Police towards right-wing protesters, among them minors.” Honenu is representing those who are insisting on the investigation of the death of Ahuvia Sandak z”l who was tragically killed in a police car chase and defending the many who are being detained while demonstrating for change in police behavior. The car Ahuvia was in with four other boys overturned when the police car collided with it from behind. Please click here for a list of posts connected to the case.