In a controversial decision, Israel’s High Court has ruled that Israeli policemen will not face trial in the shooting of a 10-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl Abir Aramin in 2007 because it feels too much time has passed. An earlier court found that there was “no debate” that Abir was shoot by border guards. Yet, her family will not receive a trial — or a hope for justice in the case.
Abir Aramin was killed after being shot in the head during a school break when she was buying snacks with her sister and two friends in the West Bank town of Anata. Witnesses gave statements that the identified guards fired from a passing jeep. While police insisted that she probably died from a thrown rock from other Palestinians, an autopsy showed that she was killed by the police with a rubber bullet to the head.
The court noted that the investigation of the police into the case was shoddy and negligent. It concluded that a trial would be too difficult given the passage of time. Just to remind you. This was 2007. We have tried murders from the 1950s decades later without difficulty. This is just five years ago. Indeed, it is not uncommon to have murder trials in this country that do not come to trial for years due to appeals and other delays.
I find the decision difficult to fathom given the earlier ruling that the culpability of police in the case was clear. One would think there was sufficient evidence for a trial — and defense lawyers could argue issues of evidence sufficiency.