The Israeli military prosecutor has filed an indictment against an Israeli officer for illegally ordering the ramming of a mentally disabled Palestinian civilian in an incident in the West Bank in 2008, according to Israeli media reports and the human rights organization B’TselemThe Major who issued the order will be prosecuted by the Military Advocate General’s Office if successfully indicted. The soldier who carried out the illegal order, however, will not be prosecuted since he was discharged from the Israeli military before the completion of the two and a half year long investigation and filing. Military officials claim that the soldier cannot be held criminally responsible as a result of his discharge.
On 19 November 2008 in the West Bank village of Kufr a-Dik, Ma’an Naji, who is mentally disabled, suffered multiple injuries, including breaks in his ribs, jaw, and teeth, when a soldier rammed him with his vehicle, despite the fact that he posed no threat to the Israeli forces or any civilians.
The soldier was carrying out an illegal order from his superior officer and Naji’s father reported that his repeated requests for an ambulance to help his son were denied by the Israeli soldiers. The MAG’s Office launched the investigation in early December 2008, after a petition from B’Tselem.
B’Tselem has criticized the length of the investigation and the resulting impunity for the suspected driver. While approving the precedent set by the indictment of the officer who issued the order, B’Tselem feels that the inability to prosecute the driver undermines that precedent, making it difficult to hold Israeli soldiers accountable for their actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.