Response of the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) to the High Court of Justice’s decision regarding the circumstances of the killing of 13 year old Iman El Hams
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) welcomes today’s ruling by the High Court of Justice which accepted the petition of the parents of Iman El Hams and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel and ordered the judge Advocate General and the Military Attorney’s Office to open an investigation to determine whether illegal open fire orders were given in the area of the “Girit” military post which lead to the killing of Iman Al Hams on 5 October 2004. In addition, the Court ordered the respondents to pay the petitioners the sum of 15,000 NS for their court expenses.
Iman El Hams, 13 years old, was killed by IDF fire while on her way to school. After she was hit, Captain “R”, the commander at the post, allegedly confirmed the killing of the girl. An internal military investigation cleared the military post soldiers of any responsibility for the girl’s death. However testimony by the soldiers that reached the press raised the suspicion that illegal actions took place during this event.
Captain “R” was charged with “illegal use of arms” and eventually acquitted of all charges by a military court. The issue of the legality rules of engagement was not addressed during this process.