Updated: Mar 9
March 6, 2023, 9:53 The youth who was documented in a video clip being assaulted by border police officers during the destruction of a vineyard near Shilo in February is suing the officers for 75,000 NIS in compensation for damages. Honenu Attorney Eladi Weisel filed the suit on behalf of the youth at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court. Attorney Weisel also 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.
Attorney Eladi Weisel stated after he filed that statement of claim, "The only purpose for the brutal and unnecessary detention was to aggressively vent anger. After the brutal assault on the complainant, the police officers did not take him to the police station. They released him at the site, which indicates that even they understood – after they calmed down – that there were no legal grounds for detention. We expect the court to accept our claim and award appropriate compensation that will deter police officers from brutal conduct."
Police brutality during destruction of the vineyard; Video credit: Honenu
In the statement of claim, Attorney Weisel described the assault: "On February 15, 2023, 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 and as he fell, suddenly another police officer appeared from the side and decided to 'join the party.' With no need, justification, or explicable connection, the police officer lifted his leg and kicked him powerfully and directly in his face. However, the brutality was not over yet. Even after the complainant was sprawled on and pinned to the ground, three police officers leaning over him continued to punch him hard and repeatedly in the head."
Attorney Weisel emphasized 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.”
Attorney Weisel described the damage caused to the youth by the assault: "As a result of the assault, the complainant was injured in all parts of his body. He suffered massive bleeding from his face and one of his arms. Following the shocking and brutal assault, the complainant was injured and caused physical pain, extreme suffering, and great distress. As of the filing of the suit, the complainant still suffers from constant back and leg pain."