The Court Cases: Civil and Criminal

What  Happened to Abir?

On August 16th, 2010 an Israeli civil court ruled in favor of the Aramin family, citing the Israeli government responsible for Abir’s death.  According to the Independent, Jerusalem District Judge Orit Efal-Gabai declared unequivocally in open court: “Abir and her friends were walking down a street where there were no rock-throwers, therefore there was no reason to shoot in their direction.

“It is clear that Abir’s death, caused by a rubber bullet shot by border guards, was due to negligence…”

In the criminal case, the Israeli High Court of Justice is expected to issued its final ruling soon, in April or May 2011.  The High Court will either dismiss the case, require the investigation be re-opened, or recommend indictment.


Summary of the Criminal Case before the Israeli High Court:

  • We were notified by the attorneys from Yesh Din, the Israeli human rights organization, that:

On February 9, 2010, the High Court of Justice in Israel ordered the State of Israel to reopen and complete the investigation [of the Abir Aramin case] and consider prosecution where appropriate. The State has been given 45 days within which to provide its position on the order, including any steps it has taken or plans to take to satisfy it, supported by sworn affidavits. Upon receiving the State’s response, the court will decide how to proceed with the petition.

  • In response to this, Israel’s State Prosecutor’s Office announced on March 28, 2010 that it would reopen the investigation the death of Abir Aramin. Evidence that was left out of the initial investigation, such as eyewitness testimony, will be included, with the Attorney General making a new recommendation following review of the evidence Read more here.

This is a very important decision in favor of the Aramin family. According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, 1315 Palestinian children have been killed since the year 2000. To our knowledge, only one case has been brought to justice. Abir Aramin’s case has the potential to set a precedent for holding accountable those involved in such deaths. Click here to read more about the appeal filed on behalf of the Aramin family by Yesh Din.

The Rebuilding Alliance brought the Aramin family, including Abir’s sister Areen, who was an eye-witness to the incident, and Israeli Combatant for Peace Yonatan Shapira, to the State Department to testify. As a result, an entry about Abir Aramin was included in the 2007, 2008, and the 2009 U.S. Human Rights Report on Israel and the Occupied Territories.  Sadly, even though the perpetrators have not yet been brought to justice, the 2010 U.S. Human Rights Report on Israel and the Occupied Territories omits mention of the little girl’s case.