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Israel jails police volunteer for killing a Palestinian

Image of Palestinian worker Antar Al-Aqraa, who was shot by a volunteer for the Israeli border police after he crossed into Israel without a permit in December 2013
Palestinian worker Antar Al-Aqraa was shot by a volunteer for the Israeli border police after he crossed into Israel without a permit in December 2013

An Israeli court sentenced an Israel Border Police volunteer to seven months in prison for killing an unarmed Palestinian worker inside the Green Line, Haaretz reported.

In a verdict issued yesterday, the Kfar Sava Magistrate’s Court also ordered David Arik Bibi Rubi’s family, to pay 100,000 shekels ($28,000) in fines on a charge of “negligent homicide” over the 2013 killing of Antar Al-Aqraa, a Palestinian from the town of Qabalan near Nablus, in the Yarkon Cemetery in Central Israel.

The verdict came in the context of a plea bargain, as the defendant pleaded guilty.

Read: Israeli occupation police force kill Palestinian girl

According to the court, Rubi arrived at a cemetery to look for Palestinian workers who had entered Israel without permits. During the operation, the Border Police volunteers found 411 Palestinian workers in the area. At some point, Rubi continued to search for other workers while the rest of volunteers guarded the workers who had already been found. Rubi found Al-Aqraa, who was working without a permit. Al-Aqraa tried to run away and when he bent down near some rubble, Rubi shot him. He died immediately.

#PalestinianLivesMatter

“Given the circumstances of the incident, he [Rubi] thought there was no more proportionate method of repelling the foreseen attack, instead choosing, as a first resort, to shoot the deceased in mid-body,” Haaretz  quoted Judge Michael Karshen saying.

Former Border Police commander Yaakov Shabtai, who was in charge of the area during the time of the incident, testified in Rubi’s favour saying that the volunteer soldier “acted out of a sense of mission”.

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