JERUSALEM – Two Israeli border policemen have been convicted of manslaughter after they kidnapped a Palestinian teenager and threw him from a moving jeep during a 2002 rampage through the West Bank city of Hebron.
According to prosecutors, Shachar Botbeka, Denis Alhazov and two other officers spent their last day of service in Hebron throwing tear gas and stun grenades, and abducting Palestinians off the street.
In all, they seized four Palestinians, hustled them into a jeep and beat them with truncheons and rifles, prosecutors said. Two of the Palestinians were hurled from the vehicle as it moved at a high speed. One of them, 17-year-old Amran Abu Hamadiya, struck his head on the road and died, court documents said.
Abu Hamadiya was tossed out of the jeep after he resisted his tormentors' order to jump, the two policemen have acknowledged.
Botbeka "pried the deceased's hands" from the straps of the jeep as it traveled at 45- to 50 miles an hour, and helped to throw him out of the vehicle, Judge Orit Efal-Gabbai of Jerusalem District Court wrote in her ruling Tuesday.
One of the officers shouted, "He's dead, he's dead," but the police officers "abandoned the deceased and continued on their way," while Alzahov videotaped the incident, she said.
Botbeka and Alhazov initially denied the allegations against them, then acknowledged varying degrees of culpability, according to the ruling. A message left with the men's lawyers was not immediately returned. The men are no longer with the paramilitary border police force.
No date for the sentencing has been set.
The two other border policemen in the case have reached separate plea bargains.